"Terminator Salvation" has run out of gas on the race to the top of North American box office. Though having a solid opening on Thursday, May 21, the action thriller from director McG has to admit defeat from "Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian" at the weekend duel.
During the three days weekend beginning Friday, May 22, the fourth movie of the "Terminator" series dug up approximately $43.0 million. The weekend bow was around $10 million less than what "Battle of the Smithsonian" collected and fell short of the $44 million start by 2003's "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines". Still, the big number was enough to place it second on the chart.
Of the lost, Warner Bros. claimed that this Christian Bale-starring movie, which was more targeted at male moviegoers, was likely to be affected by competition for older men from the National Basketball Association playoffs. Nonetheless, "Salvation" has hauled in the total of $56.4 million since its debut in theaters on Thursday.
As for "Battle of the Smithsonian", it won the #1 slot by taking in an estimated $53.5 million over the one of the biggest movie-going weekends of the year. A sequel to Ben Stiller's 2006 comedy, it has far exceeded the $30.4 million debut of the original "Night at the Museum".
It is Stiller's biggest-opening live-action movie ever, excluding his "Madagascar" series. Additionally, it has also given 20th Century Fox another #1 movie after "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" opened first with $85 million. "I think most people felt Terminator was going to win the weekend," studio executive Chris Aronson said of the movie's success. "I think it's a testament to comedy is king."
Last weekend's runner-up "Star Trek" slid to third place, earning around $22 million this week. Since its release in theaters across the U.S. on May 8, it has raked in about $183.6 million. Meanwhile, "Angels & Demons" which topped the box office last weekend fell to fourth, garnering approximately $21.4 million.
Rounding up the top five was another new release, "Dance Flick". The parody movie sold $11.1 million worth of tickets. While its gross was nowhere near the Wayans family's original "Scary Movie", it still fell somewhere between "Date Movie" and "Superhero Movie" among spoof comedies.
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for May 22 - 24: