Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

2008 Lucasfilm Ltd.


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull lived up to huge expectations, delivering $151.1 million in its first five days, per studio estimates today from Exhibitor Relations Co.

The movie accounted for nearly 60 percent of all ticket sales over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, grossing $101 million from Friday to Sunday, and $126.1 million from Friday to Monday.

After debuting with $25 million on Thursday, the movie, as expected, picked up speed over the weekend. Its biggest day was Saturday, when it grossed $37 million.

While the movie didn't set any showy records and didn't make it to the most outsized of projections that pegged a $175 million debut, it did make more money in its first 120 hours than all but four movies in Hollywood history.

In the annals of biggest three-day opening weekends, it ranks 10th, just ahead of this summer's Iron Man, per Box Office Mojo. In the annals of four-day Memorial Day weekend debuts, it ranks second.

Worldwide, it simply scooped up a whole lot of money—$313 million all together,  combining domestic and foreign receipts, per Exhibitor Relations.

The $185 million Steven Spielberg-George Lucas movie, starring Harrison Ford, is the first new Indiana Jones since 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull should shortly overtake both Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ($179.9 million) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ($197.2 million).

At the end of the adventuring day, however, the original Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark, should continue to stand as the giant of the series.

While Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will probably top that 1981 movie's $245 million take, it probably won't come close to topping its adjusted-for-inflation take.

In 2008 dollars, according to Box Office Mojo, Raiders grossed a titanic $606.4 million. (Temple of Doom's take adjusts up to $368.3 million; Last Crusade's to $340 million.)

If Indy doesn't end up being as big as he used to be, then he'll have to live with the next best thing: being big enough.

Other tidbits:

  • Among its lesser records, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is now the No. 1 movie of the year to star a senior citizen (age 65 or older), topping The Bucket List, a 2007 release which made most of its $93.3 million after Jan. 1.
  • This weekend's box office was actually down from last year's. For one thing, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a bit smaller than Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ($114.7 million, Friday-Sunday). Secondly, second-place finisher The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ($23 million) was far smaller than its 2007 counterpart, Shrek the Third ($53 million).
  • And for a third thing, two Top 10 movies failed to clear $1 million from Friday to Sunday.
  • With $96.7 million in the bank as of today, Prince Caspian will easily break $100 million, but it won't easily, if ever, top The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe's $291.7 million.
  • Caspian business was down 58 percent from its disappointing opening weekend.
  • Far from winded after four weekends, Iron Man (third place, $20.1 million, Friday-Sunday; $25.7 million, Friday-Monday; $257.8 million overall) is living up to its title.
  • The comedies Baby Mama (seventh place, $3.3 million, Friday-Sunday; $4.2 million, Friday-Monday; $53 million overall) and Forgetting Sarah Marshall (eighth place, $1.7 million, Friday-Sunday; $2.2 million, Friday-Monday; $58.7 million overall) have put together nice little runs.
  • What Happens in Vegas (fourth place, $9 million, Friday-Sunday; $11.2 million, Friday-Monday; $56.4 million overall) has, too, but it has too much star power to truly qualify as nice 'n' little.
  • The Forbidden Kingdom ($375,000, Friday-Sunday; $489,000, Friday-Monday; $51.2 million overall) fell out of the Top 10, but comes up as Jackie Chan's biggest hit outside of the Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon franchises. For Jet Li, the movie will probably fall just short of topping Hero and Romeo Must Die as his biggest hit outside of Lethal Weapon IV.
  • In limited release, the John Cusack satire War, Inc. came up big with $35,336 from Friday to Sunday ($50,714, Friday-Monday) at two theaters.

Here's a recap of the top-grossing weekend films based on Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

  1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, $101 million
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, $23 million
  3. Iron Man, $20.1 million
  4. What Happens in Vegas, $9 million
  5. Speed Racer, $4 million
  6. Made of Honor, $3.4 million
  7. Baby Mama, $3.3 million
  8. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, $1.7 million
  9. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, $940,000
  10. The Visitor, $723,000
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