‘Terminator’ Is No Match For ‘Night At The Museum’ At Box Office

Ben Stiller's 'Battle of the Smithsonian' wins him biggest opening of his career.

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 [movie id="375855"]“Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”[/movie] ($70 million)
#2 [movie id="347265"]“Terminator Salvation”[/movie] ($53.8 million)
#3 [movie id="305755"]“Star Trek”[/movie] ($29.4 million)
#4 [movie id="330488"]“Angels & Demons”[/movie] ($27.7 million)
#5 [movie id="381833"]“Dance Flick”[/movie] ($13.1 million)

Memorial Day saw mankind rally to the call of battle, but not against terminators, as “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” took the top spot at the box office. As the first family-friendly film release since spring’s [movie id="328526"]“Monsters vs. Aliens,”[/movie] it was the favorite going into the four-day weekend, but its $70 million haul exceeded studio expectations and the numbers of its predecessor, “Night at the Museum.” While it didn’t break any Memorial Day records, it’s the biggest opening star [movieperson id="99943"]Ben Stiller[/movieperson] has enjoyed in his long career (a career that, coincidentally, will be celebrated Sunday night, when Stiller will receive the Generation Award at the MTV Movie Awards ).

The highly anticipated “Terminator Salvation” faltered over the holiday stretch: It landed at #2 with $53.8 million and a total of $67 million since its Thursday debut. Despite the presence of fanboy favorite Christian Bale, numbers indicate that it’s doing slower business than predecessors “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.”

Despite the debut of two juggernauts, Paramount’s Wayans Brothers comedy “Dance Flick” managed to crack the top five with a modest take of $13.1 million. It performed exactly as expected and managed to knock [movie id="345540"]“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”[/movie] to #6.

“Star Trek” held strong in its third week, dropping to #3 with a holiday weekend of $29.4 million. With a total of $191 million, it’s currently the most successful movie of the summer. The same can’t yet be said of “Angels & Demons,” which had a steep drop of 53 percent in its sophomore session. It landed at #4 with $27.7 million, bringing its total take to $87.8 million. But Sony is thrilled with the movie’s box-office performance, particularly its overseas reception, and the film could hit a worldwide $300 million by Wednesday.

Even with Ben Stiller, Christian Bale and the Wayans Brothers competing for attention and dollars, moviegoers still found it in their hearts (and pockets) to give a little love to the limited release of [movie id="378714"]“Easy Virtue.”[/movie] The period comedy starring Colin Firth and Jessica Biel opened in only 10 theaters and did an impressive $146,140. [movie id="325663"]“The Brothers Bloom”[/movie] also continued to thrive, expanding to a grand total of 52 locations for a haul of $651,388. It will expand to 50 top markets Friday, and industry observers are watching its ongoing march and enthusiastic buzz with a lot of interest.

Upcoming Releases

Disney and Pixar’s 3-D animated feature [movie id="351156"]“Up”[/movie] goes wide, as does Universal’s Sam Raimi horror film [movie id="376474"]“Drag Me To Hell.”[/movie]

Will the vampires grab more trophies than the slumdog? What was the year’s ultimate onscreen WTF moment? It’s up to you to decide the winners of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Vote now, and tune in on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, when the big show airs live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Terminator Salvation” and ” Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.”

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