Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes $60 million at US box office
Paramount studio executives hope the action hero’s return to the big screen in ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ will rake in some $150 million over America’s lucrative Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The adventurous archaeologist, played by 65-year-old Harrison Ford, produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg, is back in cinemas after a 19-year hiatus.
Predicted opening night receipts of about $25 million made it one of the best Thursday releases in movie history. It is thought to have taken another $33 million on Friday, putting the movie on course to be the top-grosser of 2008, ahead of ‘Iron Man’ which took in $104 million in the US on its first weekend.
The record Thursday opening was ’Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith’ which took $50 million in 2005. But ’Star Wars’ has a younger fan base more willing to join long queues on a weekday night, while the ’Indiana Jones’ brand and nostalgia appeals to an older audience who are prepared to wait a few days to see the film.
Industry experts predict the movie will challenge the $140 million record for a Memorial Day weekend set last year by ’Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End’.
With a new Incredible Hulk movie also opening this summer, Hollywood is banking on superheroes and action men to combat the long-term decline in cinema audiences.
Indy’s box office exploits come despite the movie’s mixed critical reception. And it is not only film buffs who have expressed their doubts about his latest incarnation.
See other NowPublic coverage about the controversy surrounding the film here.