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This Weekend in Box Office History: Comparisons for May 28-31, 2010

by Brandon Gray
 

 
May 30, 2010

This Memorial Day weekend was one of the worst in recent memory in terms of overall gross and attendance with Shrek Forever After posting low-for-Shrek numbers and still coming out on top over two relatively unappealing new movies, Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Despite such glum business this year, Memorial Day weekend has historically been one of the busiest timeframes of the year.

Five Years Ago - 2005

Like this year, a holdover led Memorial weekend in 2005, but, unlike this year, the Top Three pictures posted blistering numbers. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith had a forceful $70 million four-day weekend, lifting its total to $270.5 million in just 12 days. The Longest Yard and Madagascar had, at the time, the second and third highest-grossing non-No. 1 debuts, behind The Day After Tomorrow from the previous year. Madagascar raked in $61 million in four days, whle Longest Yard drew $58.6 million. Weekend Report: 'Star Wars' Edges Out Computer Critters & Secondhand Convicts

Ten Years Ago - 2000

With a blazing $70.8 million, Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible II logged the second highest-grossing Memorial opening ever at the time, behind The Lost World: Jurassic Park, despite burning off some steam with a Wednesday launch (for a $91.8 million six-day opening). The action sequel's four-day weekend was nearly 25 percent higher than its 1996 predecessor's Memorial debut. Another action picture, Western comedy Shanghai Noon featuring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, moseyed into third place with a solid $19.6 million opening. Among holdovers, Dinosaur dipped to second with $32 million, yet there was still a sense of disappointment for the ambitious Disney production. Gladiator and Road Trip continued to play well in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Weekend Chart

Fifteen Years Ago - 1995

Five pictures opened in nationwide release on this weekend, though only two passed muster. Casper tried to make friends with families, and it paid off reasonably well with a first-place $22.1 million launch at 2,714 sites. In third place behind Die Hard: With A Vengeance's second weekend, the nearly three-hour Braveheart freed $12.9 million from moviegoers' wallets at 2,035 sites (for a $15.6 million total since its Wednesday start), which was solid for a Medieval-themed picture. Johnny Mnemonic began with an unmemorable $7.4 million at 2,030 sites, Mad Love claimed a dispassionate $6.8 million at 1,500 sites, and Tales from the Hood grabbed few "boyz" with $3.9 million at 862 sites. Weekend Chart

Twenty Years Ago - 1990

Debuting just six months after its predecessor, Back to the Future Part III lassoed $23.7 million at 2,019 locations to top the chart. The trilogy's finale was hurt by the mixed reaction to Back to the Future Part II (both pictures were shot simultaneously, and the whole production and release strategy was highly unconventional at the time), but it nonetheless scored the biggest-grossing opening yet for a Western (and it would go on to hold up better than Part II). The weekend also saw the opening of Fire Birds. It was a non-starter with $6.4 million and featured Nicolas Cage and Tommy Lee Jones before they became bankable names later in the decade. Weekend Chart

Twenty-Five Years Ago - 1985

Three movies were unleashed on this weekend, and all were popular to varying degrees. Sylvester Stallone's sequel Rambo: First Blood Part II went on a $25.2 million rampage at 2,074 theaters (and had made $32.2 million since its Wednesday start). At the time, it was the third biggest-grossing debut ever behind Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Return of the Jedi. The continuation of another action franchise was also unleashed: Roger Moore's last turn as James Bond, A View to a Kill, logged a $13.3 million opening at 1,583 theaters. Meanwhile, in third place, Richard Pryor-John Candy comedy Brewster's Millions drew $9.9 million at 1,521 theaters (and had earned $11.5 million since its Wednesday start). Weekend Chart

Weekend Reports for This Timeframe in Past Years:
2009 -
'Star Trek' Prospers
2008 - 'Iron Man' Leads Again, 'Speed Racer' Burns
2007 - 'Spider-Man 3' Unravels But Rules
2006 - 'Poseidon' Capsizes, Cruise Clings to Top Spot
2005 - 'Monster-in-Law' Claws to the Top
2004 - 'Troy' Rises But Not Immortal
2003 - Mutants Muster More Than Murphy
2002 - 'Spider-Man' Nets More Records

Related Stories
Weekend Report: 'Sex,' 'Prince' Deserted as 'Shrek' Leads Weak Memorial Weekend
Weekend Briefing: 'Robin Hood' Rides Into Battle



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