The box office war between two franchise sequels is pretty much over. With a 30% jump from Friday to Saturday, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" pulled in $19.9 million in its second day and is now looking at anywhere between $65-70 million for the four-day holiday weekend. As expected, families and matinees provided the big boost.
"Terminator: Salvation," on the other hand, was pretty much flat pulling in another $14.7 million and is expected to finish with around $42 million for the three day and $50 million for the four day. For those playing at home, that's a $63 million cume since the McG thriller opened this past Thursday. While $100 million plus is guaranteed, it will take some work (and luck) for the fourth installment in the franchise to match "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine's" $150 million domestic gross. Is the series just not the same to moviegoers without Arnold Schwarzenegger in the fold? Let the debate begin.
Long term prospects for both pictures are even more intriguing than their showdown this weekend. "Night" will have to compete for families with Disney's already critically acclaimed "UP" opening next weekend. Two weeks later it has the Will Ferrell's kid friendly "Land of the Lost" opens on June 5. Clearly, it will be difficult for "Night" to duplicate the original's massive $250 million domestic take. The marketing of the picture was hampered by last minute effect shots being integrated into TV spots, but also any compelling theme that made this picture seem any different than the first.
A more interesting battle surrounds the third slot where "Star Trek" and "Angels & Demons" have duked it out. "Demons" narrowly won Friday, but "Trek" came back to squeak by on Saturday with $ 8.3 million to the Tom Hanks thriller's $8.1 million. Gamblers will no doubt put their money on the blockbuster space flick ($175 million and counting), but "Demons" could still pull ahead when the weekend is said and done.
The weekend's other wide release, "Dance Flick," pulled in another $3.8 million on Saturday almost equal to its opening day gross. The Wayans Brothers spoof is now looking at around $12-14 million for the four day weekend.
Find more details on Saturday's box office results on Box Office Mojo. Look for continuing analysis and box office reports tomorrow on HitFix.