INDY MAGNETIZES $311.1 MILLION

When the final tally of Memorial Day weekend ticket sales is calculated,Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is expected to wind up with $311.1 million worldwide, with about $151.1 million of that amount coming from the U.S. and Canada, according to Paramount Pictures, its distributor. The movie reportedly got a boost from 30- and 40-year-old moviegoers, a demographic group that is more selective about the films it takes in in than the primary teens and 20-year-olds who make up the primary movie-going audience. "That [older] audience was excited to see the movie and excited to bring their kids with them," Paramount distribution chief Rob Moore told Reuters. The expected $151.1-million Memorial Day gross in the U.S. was surpassed only by the $153 million that Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's Endtook in over the same holiday weekend last year.

The top ten films for the four-day (Friday through Monday) holiday weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers (Thursday results are not included):

1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Paramount, $126,040,000; 2.The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Disney, $28,642,000; 3. Iron Man, Paramount, $25,650,000; 4. What Happens in Vegas, $Fox, $11,150,000; 5. Speed Racer, Warner Bros., $5,205,000; 6. Baby Mama, Universal, $4,208,100; 7. Made of Honor, Sony/Col/Rev, $4,200,000; 8. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Universal, $2,19,9120; 9. Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantánamo Bay, Warner Bros., $1,200,000; 10. The Visitor, Overture Films, $91,7000.

CAN WOMEN ALONE MAKE A FILM A HIT?

If the latest Indiana Jones movie is attracting generally older moviegoers, next weekend's top release, Sex and the City, also looks to attract a non-habitual audience -- women in their 40s and early 50s. As reported by the Associated Press, the online ticketing service Fandango has determined from a survey of ticket buyers that 94 percent are women; 67 percent plan to see the film in a group of other women; 16 percent said that they were going with one other woman; and just 6 percent said they were going with a man. Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office trackers Media by Numbers, told the AP that his group has determined that the primary audience will be women from 20 to 55. "A huge female audience can create a blockbuster of a movie if there's enough interest," he said.

DIRECTOR-PRODUCER-ACTOR SYDNEY POLLACK DIES AT 73

Multi-hyphenated filmmaker Sydney Pollack, who won a director's Oscar for 1985's Out of Africa and received nominations for directing 1969's They Shoot Horses Don't They?and 1982's Tootsie,died Monday after a year-long battle with cancer. He would have turned 74 on July 1. Pollack also produced numerous films, including last year's Michael Clayton, in which he also had a prominent acting role, portraying George Clooney's lawyer boss. In a statement, Clooney said, Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little better and even dinner a little better. ... He'll be missed terribly."

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The London Star

Brian B. at Movieweb
Brian B.