Star Wars: Episode III may have broken the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time, but it almost didn’t last a second week at the top of the box office charts.
Revenge of the Sith, the final feature chapter in the Star Wars saga, grossed $70.8 million over the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend, according to studio estimates, holding off challengers Madagascar and The Longest Yard by a closer margin than most observers anticipated. Still, Episode III became the fastest film to cross the $250 million mark, accomplishing that feat in 11 days, one day quicker than Spider-Man 2 last summer. After two weeks, the film’s total stands at $271.2 million, placing it 26th on the all-time top grossers list.
If the estimates hold, second place will end up going to Madagascar, the latest computer-animated film from DreamWorks, which premiered with $61 million, just ahead of Adam Sandler’s remake of The Longest Yard, which opened with $60 million. Yard was actually the top film last Friday thanks to Sandler’s faithful fan base, but Star Wars and Madagascar pulled ahead as the weekend progressed. But never has there been a weekend with three $60 million grossers, so the entire movie industry is probably breathing a sigh of relief.
Rounding out the top five were the comedies Monster-in-Law and Kicking & Screaming, with $11.1 million and $6.6 million, respectively.