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 End took 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."

BOND PRODUCERS SNUBBING WINEHOUSE?

The London Star <is reporting that producers of the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace have yet to decide whether to use a song written and performed by Amy Winehouse as the title theme of the movie, due to be released in October. Winehouse has said that she has recorded several possible songs for the 007 movie that she describes as "good ones I'm really happy with." She added, "I don't know what is wrong with them or what the problem is." The newspaper suggested that the problem may be Winehouse herself and her frequent brushes with the law over drug use. On Sunday the Express reported that the producers are likely to turn to Beyonce, who has become the "firm favorite after first-choice Amy fell off the rails."

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.