If Terminator Salvation is McG's attempt to shock new life into the franchise he should have brought a higher voltage defibrillator kit. As it stands now the fourth film in the series not only lost out to a family movie sequel, its watered down PG-13 rating couldn't help it do any better than its predecessor Rise of the Machines.
Amongst studio execs the prevailing thought seems to be that a PG-13 rated action flick will do better than one that's rated R. It's a reasonable expectation since you can appeal to a wider age-range audience, but if a PG-13 Terminator Salvation could only muster $43 million over the regular three-day weekend, a grittier, more traditional rated R version likely wouldn't have been able to compete at all with Terminator 3 which opened in 2003 at $44 million, or perhaps even Terminator 2 with its 1991 $31 million debut.
Estimates for the 4-Day Memorial Day weekend give Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian an even bigger jump on Terminator. It rounded out the holiday with a solid $70 million while Terminator Salvation made it all the way to $53 million. Terminator may have ended up making a decent opening, but the real question is how it will hold up in the long run. It has big strides to make if it's going to top the $204 million Terminator: Judgment Day made overall to become the most lucrative Terminator entry.
Dance Flick bowed in with $10.7 million for the regular weekend, $13.1 million for the holiday total. It's good news for a movie that only cost $25 million to make, but bad news for those of us tired of seeing non-funny spoof movie paraded through theaters.
The much buzzed Girlfriend Experience jumped from the film festival circuit into small theater release. With only 30 theaters it managed $200,000 over the four day holiday weekend.
Whether you're grilling out or headed to the movies this weekend, don't forget to take a moment to pause and reflect on the reason for the holiday: the memory of those who have served in our military in defense of the freedoms we enjoy every day.