Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull topped the box office with an estimated gross of $101 million over the three-day Memorial Day weekend, the highest total of the year so far. Indy 4’s weekend performance was even more impressive considering that it earned $25 million at 2000 locations on its opening day, Thursday. The film’s estimated five-day total of $151 million represents the fifth best five-day total ever behind Spider-Man 2 ($152.4 million), Spider-Man 3 ($169.4 million), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($169.5 million), and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith ($172.8 million).
The new Indiana Jones film also took in $147 million in foreign box office, the fifth best overseas tally in history. While the domestic audience for Indy 4 rose 19% from Friday to Saturday (a good sign), the film received only a grade of “B” from viewers on CinemaScore, which could indicate that it will have a big drop off during its second weekend. The 19 year hiatus in the franchise didn’t appear to deter audiences, especially those who might have remembered the earlier films—the new Indy film did well with older viewers—66% of the audience was over 25. Viewers were split evenly between men and women indicating that the film had broad appeal—and 30% of the viewers came with family members solidifying its status as an archetypal “family” film.
Opening in 4,260 theaters, the third widest release in history, the new Indiana Jones film was the only major film debuting this weekend since the other Hollywood studios gave
Meanwhile Warner Bros.’ Speed Racer slipped a further 51%, earning just under $4 million and bringing its cumulative to just over $36 million after three weekends. Overall the domestic box office declined 16% from Memorial Day 2007, and the summer movie season is now running 9% behind last year’s record total.