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It’s a 4-day holiday weekend and that means our final box office report won’t roll in until later today (Monday) but really, for Terminator Salvation the verdict is in: it stinks. The reviews have been terrible and the movie’s much talked about theatrical debut is more of a whimper than a proper, box office terminating takeover. We don’t know whether Memorial Day totals will give it a boost, but we do know that over the weekend, it wasn’t even number one.

Instead, according to Box Office Mojo, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian captured the weekend box office’s top spot with a solid $53 million opening. Terminator Salvation on the other hand, is a distant, dismal second with $43 million. Sure $43 million is nothing to sneeze at but it’s far below what most expected from one of the year’s most talked about films. Odds are that with such a mediocre start it’s going to struggle to make back it’s massive, $200 million budget without a big assist from international audiences.

Maybe we should have seen this coming. After all, the reviews have been pretty consistently horrible for the film. Sure our own Katey Rich didn’t seem to hate it but even she, one of the more positive voices out there, didn’t exactly love it. And besides, the last film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines only made $44 million its first weekend. Maybe $40 mil is really all a Terminator movie is good for anymore.

Or maybe it just had the bad luck to open against the summer’s first legitimate family movie. After weekends of superheroes, space flight, and religious mystery parents were probably ready to take their kids to something. Night at the Museum 2 was a perfect fit and, watered down to a PG-13 or not, Terminator wasn’t it.

Check back with us later for full detail, 4-day, holiday weekend box office totals.

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