Paramount sequel nets $31 million Friday

In its second day, Paramount’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” dug up $31 million in box office coin, raising its two-day gross to $56 million.

Similar to “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” last year, “Indy” made a jump start on the Memorial Day holiday weekend by unspooling Thursday. “Indy’s” cume to date is in pace with the $56.2 million that “World’s End” racked up in its first two days from Thursday night previews ($13.2 million) and its first Friday ($42.9 million).

“World’s End” holds the record as the biggest Memorial Day weekend opener to date. Counting its Thursday receipts, the third “Pirates” installment racked up $153 million over five days. Both “Indy” and “World’s End” are rated PG-13.

Playing at 4,260 sites, “Indy’s” Friday is also the third highest for a Memorial Day weekend release, ranking behind 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” ($45.1 million) and last year’s “World’s End.”

On Thursday, “Indy” bowed to $25 million, repping an opening day record for both director Steven Spielberg and headliner Harrison Ford according to Rentrak Theatrical. Spielberg and Ford’s previous opening highs were respectively for 1997’s “Lost World: Jurassic Park 2” ($21.6 million) and “Air Force One” ($12 million).

Disney’s “Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” took second place Friday after registering a 66% decline from its opening day a week ago. “Caspian” collected $6.6 million off 3,929 raising its eight-day cume to $74.6 million.

After “Caspian,” most of the holdovers playing on the first Friday of the Memorial Day frame posted respectable drops.

Paramount-Marvel’s “Iron Man” placed third, grossing $5.4 million on 3,915, down 37%. The cume for superhero pic in the middle of its fourth frame is $237.6 million.

Fox’s “What Happens in Vegas” continued to roll with crowds, cashing in $2.6 million in fourth from 3,188, down 38%, for a 15-day total of $47.8 million.

Sony’s “Made of Honor” and Warner Bros.’ “Speed Racer” were neck-in-neck for fifth yesterday. “Made” edged out “Racer” with $1.02 million from 2,393 engagements, down 34% while “Racer” followed with $1.01 million off 3,112, down 49%. To date, the domestic B.O. for both “Made” and “Racer” respectively stand at $36.7 million and $33.2 million.

Overture Films’ “The Visitor” remained a strong performer among the arthouse titles on the chart. The Richard Jenkins headliner took tenth place again on Friday, grossing $170,000 from 270 situations, up 1%, for a current B.O. of $3.8 million.

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