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Opening day: 'Terminator' grosses $13.37M Thursday on way to 5-day earnings of more than $70M

May 22, 2009 |  8:56 am

TerminatorSalvation "Terminator: Salvation" looks like it's heading toward a five-day gross between $70 million and $80 million after opening Thursday to $13.37 million.

That's a bit more than half of what "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" opened to on the same date last year. Also the fourth film in a beloved action-adventure series, it went on to sell $152 million worth of tickets by the following Monday.

Given its sizable budget of around $200 million, funded by independent production venture The Halcyon Co., which bought the underlying rights two years ago, "Salvation" will have to play well for a few weeks domestically and do solid business overseas to end up a success. Sony Pictures launches the film internationally in two weeks.

"Terminator" gets competition today in the U.S. and Canada in the form of Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian." But since that movie appeals primarily to family audiences, it shouldn't impact the male-targeted "Salvation." Although Fox is conservatively predicting an opening weekend of less than  $60 million, other people with access to pre-release tracking say it should earn about as much in four days as "Terminator" is on track to gross in five.

Update: Friday box office grosses; Full box office analysis from Tuesday's Los Angeles Times.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Christian Bale in "Terminator Salvation." Credit: Warner Bros.