Forget the Smithsonian, the real battle this Memorial Day weekend will take place in multiplexes, where the family adventure comedy Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian faces off against Terminator Salvation. Yes, both Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. are bringing out their big guns for the holiday, and with Angels & Demons and Star Trek still angling for eyeballs, it’s sure to be a big one. My predictions for the four-day, Friday-through-Monday weekend are below.
1. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian — $80 million
Don’t discount that family crowd. Few family-friendly flicks (save Hannah Montana ) have opened since Monsters vs. Aliens bowed at the end of March. The return of Ben Stiller and his troupe of historic figures who come to life is beloved by kids of all ages (the first installment banked $250.9 mil domestically about two years ago), and an IMAX opening will help it even more. Plus, the always adorable Amy Adams portrays Amelia Earhart — and The Thinker statue comes to life!
2. Terminator Salvation — $75 million
While McG’s reimagining of James Cameron’s Terminator franchise will close the weekend with the most cash in its pockets (because it actually opened a day early, on Thursday), it’s likely to end up in second place for the four-day frame — if only by a small amount. The last time a Terminator movie bowed, it was back on the 2003 Fourth of July holiday, to a tune of $72.5 million over five days. This time around, with Christian Bale and next-big-thing Sam Worthington getting an above-the-title credit, the movie could do a lot more business. Expect a $90 million five-day debut.
3. Star Trek — $35 million
Talk about legs. Audiences love J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reinvention, so expect a solid hold for its third weekend in theaters. Terminator Salvation will be its biggest competition, but we’ve got four days, people! That’s a lot of time to see movies.
4. Angels & Demons — $23 million
What little buzz Tom Hanks’ sequel had last weekend (which it won, barely) has all but evaporated. So the Dan Brown adaptation may have a hard time keeping the momentum going into its second frame. Thus, Angels & Demons should see a drop in the 45-50 percent range, as it turns its attention to overseas box office, where its real revenue will come from.
5. Dance Flick — $10 million
Paramount is releasing this dance-film-genre spoof in 2,450 locations, and fans of the Wayans Brothers will likely show up. The question is: How many Wayans fans are still around?
More Box Office News:
Angels & Demons summons a $48 million bow
Star Trek soars with $72.5 mil debut
Wolverine opens with an impressive $87 million
Obsessed knocks out the competition with $28.5 mil
EW.com’s Box Office Chart