UPDATE Monday 5/25: Boxofficeguru.com has estimates for the full 4-day Memorial Day weekend at the North American box office, and they're all slightly up from Saturday estimates.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian looks like it will handily beat Terminator Salvation, with an estimated $70 million to Salvation's $54m from Friday through Monday.
Combined with its Thursday take, Salvation will have earned an estimated $67.2m since its debut,slightly below projections made Friday based on its first day receipts.
Star Trek looks like it will hold off Angels & Demons for a third place showing, adding another $29.4m over the 4 days, giving it over $191m in total and setting it on pace to cross the $200m barrier by next Saturday.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine dug up another $10.1m it bring its domestic total to $165.4m.UPDATE Saturday 5/23: With a slightly broader audience to draw from and with the Terminator franchise's most eager fans able to attend a Thursday showing, Ben Stiller's Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian narrowly edged about Christian Bale's Terminator Salvation at the North American box office Friday, an estimated $15 to $14.8 million.
According to ercboxoffice.com, the demographic advantage Smithsonian enjoys will probably play out even more over the weekend, and they're estimating that over the 3-day weekend (Fri-Sun) it will earn $51m, and $66m for the 4-day period (Fri-Mon), compared to $42m (3 day) and $50m (4 day) for Terminator.
The same website is predicting Star Trek will gross $22 million for the traditional weekend (a sub-50% drop from last week) and $28m over the 4-day span.Originally published Friday, 5/22: The Los Angeles Times was unusually the first source out of the gate with a box office report Friday afternoon. The newspaper is reporting Terminator Salvation made $13.37 million at the North America box office Thursday, its first full day of release, but they don't indicate whether or not that includes the reported $3m the film made from Wednesday midnight showings.
The $13.37m figure projects to a 5-day (Thurs-Mon.) Memorial Day weekend total of between $70m to $80m, which falls in line with most estimates from the usual sources like boxofficeguru and boxoffice.com.
With a reported budget of over $200 and its critical reception/word-of-mouth factors lacking (its rottentomatoc.com approval ratings %'s are hovering in the low 30's), it might be a tough, long haul to profitability for the fourth Terminator installment.
The movie will be up against the family-friendly sequel to the Night at the Museum, "Battle for the Smithsonian" starting today, as well has holdovers Angels & Demons and Star Trek.
Trek looks to continue last week's impression hold of just a $43% drop. Predictions are falling in the $29m to $34m range for the film, putting the film around $190m since its opening.
Look for updates throughout the weekend as the figures come in.