Night At The Museum Terminates McG

Stiller defeats Machines at box office

Listen, and understand. That Night At The Museum 2 is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until Terminator Salvation is in second place at the box office.

Yes, that's right: Ben Stiller's kiddie-friendly franchise took the top spot from Christian Bale's growly outing as John Connor this weekend, with $53.5 million to Terminator Salvation's $43 million, Friday to Sunday. More damaging, however, Night At The Museum 2 had a slightly higher per-screen average take and did better on Friday, traditionally where geek-friendly films do best before the kids hit screens on Saturday. It also took a smaller amount than Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, when adjusted for inflation, but it remains to be seen if it can hold up well over the coming weeks: Museum is expected to dip and to fail to reach the $250 million that its predecessor managed.

Elsewhere, Star Trek hung on in third place with a respectable $21.9 million despite losing all its IMAX screens to Museum, for a three-week total of $183.6 million. It's now the franchise's fourth most-attended film with some time in the top ten still to go.

Angels & Demons hung on in fourth place with a total of $81.5 in ten days (The Da Vinci Code was about $50 million up on that in the same time frame). But Ron Howard et al can comfort themselves with the thought that they are number one worldwide, with Night at the Museum 2 putting up a fight but Terminator Salvation not open in many other territories as yet - we'll be seeing it next week on June 3.

For the rest of the charts, check out Box Office Mojo here.