This Weekend in Box Office History: Comparisons for May 14-16, 2010

by Brandon Gray

May 16, 2010

In the current era, the second weekend in May is firmly considered part of the summer movie season, and it is usually dominated by summer's first big movie in its second weekend, such as this year with Iron Man 2. The summer movie season creeping so early in the year is a recent phenomenon, and, the further back one goes, the more decidedly un-summer-like movies one will find debuting prior to Memorial Day weekend.

Five Years Ago - 2005

This was another modest 2005 weekend, despite three new nationwide releases. Jennifer Lopez-Jane Fonda comedy Monster-in-Law led the way with a solid $23.1 million, capitalizing on its relatable Meet the Parents-like premise. Will Ferrell comedy Kicking and Screaming didn't pack as much punch with its $20.2 million start, while Jet Li's Unleashed posted a decent $10.9 million. Kingdom of Heaven collapsed 51 percent in its second weekend to $9.6 million, while future Oscar winner Crash eased 23 percent to $7 million in its second weekend. Weekend Report: 'Monster-in-Law' Claws to the Top

Ten Years Ago - 2000

Gladiator reigned in its second weekend with $24.6 million, down 29 percent, but one of the most notorious flops in recent memory opened in second. Playing at 3,307 theaters (more than Gladiator), Battlefield Earth mustered only $11.5 million. Considered a paean to Scientology but marketed as a generic science fiction fantasy, it showed how tough a sell the genre can be and how remarkable successes like Star Wars and Avatar actually are. John Travolta cackling in hideous makeup did not help the cause. Three other new releases were largely ignored: ballet drama Center Stage (which was Zoe Saldana's first movie) with $4.6 million, Norm MacDonald comedy Screwed with $3.3 million and Jamie Foxx vehicle Held Up with $1.9 million. Weekend Chart

Fifteen Years Ago - 1995

Crimson Tide was unleashed as the first big summer movie. Starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman, the submarine thriller drew $18.6 million at 2,382 locations, which is the equivalent of $34 million today adjusted for ticket price inflation. It wasn't quite the next The Hunt for Red October from 1990, but it fared better than U-571 in 2000, among submarine movies. Its opening was a new high for Mr. Washington at the time. Three other movies opened nationwide with little interest: Hugh Grant's The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain with $2.8 million, pig family movie Gordy, which predated Babe by three months, with $1.6 million, and Marisa Tomei drama The Perez Family with $1.1 million. Weekend Chart

Twenty Years Ago - 1990

Pretty Woman grew more than 11 percent in its eight weekend, grossing $7.6 million and crossing the $100 million mark in its 52nd day of release. There were no new nationwide releases, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Tales From the Darkside: The Movie repeated in second and third place, respectively. Weekend Chart

Twenty-Five Years Ago - 1985

Chuck Norris' Code of Silence held onto the top spot with $3.6 million, down 35 percent. Two pictures had forgettable nationwide debuts: Rustler's Rhapsody, a Western comedy with Tom Berenger, nabbed $2.4 million at 1,480 venues, while one of the era's urban music dramas, Rappin', grabbed $1.8 million at 1,150 venues. Weekend Chart

Weekend Reports for This Timeframe in Past Years:
2009 -
'Star Trek' Prospers
2008 - 'Iron Man' Leads Again, 'Speed Racer' Burns
2007 - 'Spider-Man 3' Unravels But Rules
2006 - 'Poseidon' Capsizes, Cruise Clings to Top Spot
2005 - 'Monster-in-Law' Claws to the Top
2004 - 'Troy' Rises But Not Immortal
2003 - Mutants Muster More Than Murphy
2002 - 'Spider-Man' Nets More Records

Last Week
This Weekend in Box Office History: Comparisons for May 7-9, 2010

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> MORE: News | Features
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 3/19 (40 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Black Panther' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Tomb Raider' #1
WEEKLY: 'Black Panther' Tops the Week with $57.49m
DAILY: Thursday 3/15 (45 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 3/14 (42 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 3/13 (42 tracked)