The box office collection plays a very important role in the success of a film. And a long weekend or holiday season is especially considered something that can help enhance the film’s box office collection as many prefer enjoying their free time in the cinema. With the release of the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid ahead of Memorial Day, the conversation regarding the opening weekend collection during Memorial Day weekend has started again.
The Disney movie is estimated to take the fourth spot in the list by grossing over $125 million in its holiday opening weekend. Let’s take a look at the top 10 movies that made a fortune in its Memorial Day opening weekend.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Released on 25 May 2018, Solo: A Star Wars Story is the second Star Wars anthology film that follows Han Solo and Chewbacca 10 years before the events of A New Hope, where they join a heist with the underworld. According to Box Mojo, it opened at $84 million and grossed over $390 million at the box office.
However, it was reported that it needed at least $500 to break even at the box office for its budget, which was estimated to be $275 million. The Star Wars spinoff reportedly lost $76.9 million at the box office. Memorial Day weekend was also not helpful to the film as it only managed to gross $103 million in the Memorial Day opening weekend, taking the tenth spot on the list.
The Hangover Part II (2011)
The highly anticipated sequel to Todd Phillips‘ 2009 film The Hangover opened to $103.4 million during the Memorial Day weekend. While the film did pretty well at the box office, the critical response was not as favorable as its predecessor.
Many claimed that the sequel seems too similar to the first film and the threequel in the series, which was also released over the Memorial Day weekend in 2013, but was able to gross a little over $62 million in its opening weekend. It grossed $254 million domestically and $586.7 million globally.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Followed by critical disasters like X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the studio released Days of Future Past in the X-Men franchise, which is believed to boom the superhero films in the 2000s. Released during the 2014 Memorial Day weekend, the film brought back the new X-Men cast introduced in the 2011 film X-Men: First Class.
It recorded the highest weekend opening for any X-Men film and grossed $233.9 million domestically. It stands at the eighth spot among the top Memorial Day films by grossing $110.5 million within four days of its release. Along with an impressive box office collection of $746 million globally, the movie holds a 90% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Although people have been critical of Disney’s live-action remakes as these remakes simply have nothing new to offer. However, despite the criticism, many of these live-action remakes have performed very well at the box office, including Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, which crossed the mark of $1 billion at the box office.
Something similar followed with the release of the 2019 film Aladdin. Starring the Oscar-winning actor Will Smith, Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott, it opened to $116 million over the Memorial Day opening weekend. Like earlier mentioned movies, it also grossed over $1 billion globally and became the ninth highest-grossing movie in 2019 at the domestic box office.
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
The sixth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise opened at the top spot during the Memorial Day weekend with $117 million. Following one of the most successful films in the movie series, Fast & Furious 6 easily beat its competitors, The Hangover threequel and Epic, at the box office.
It was able to gross $788 million at the global box office, making it the second-highest-grossing film in the series domestically. It also became the third highest-grossing film in the franchise worldwide, followed by Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious. The tenth installment in the series, Fast X, was released recently and has grossed over $500 million worldwide so far.
The Little Mermaid (2023)
Another Disney live-action remake that has made a spot among the top Memorial Day releases is the 2023 film The Little Mermaid. It follows the adventures of the youngest daughter of King Triton, Ariel, who falls in love with Prince Eric and makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula to explore the world beyond the sea.
Being a live-action remake, it has been surrounded by controversies since it was announced. Despite all that, it has managed to outrun Fast & Furious 6 from the fifth spot on the list by grossing $117.5 million within four days of its release. However, it was expected to take over the fourth spot in the list with an estimated box office collection of $125 million.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
The 2006 film in the X-Men film series was one of the highly anticipated films of the year. Released during the trilogy era in Hollywood, fans expected that the third installment in the franchise would conclude the story for the X-Men film series as well. It opened to $122 million during the holiday weekend and still holds some of the biggest opening weekends for an X-Men film.
It grossed $460 million worldwide at the box office and is still among the top Memorial Day opening weekends of all time. However, the critics and audience’s response to the film was not as impressive as its box-office collection, as critics described it as a “lose” and “disappointing” movie.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Released on 2008 Memorial Day, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull brought back Harrison Ford as the renowned archaeologist and explorer, Indiana Jones, who goes on an adventure to solve the mystery behind the crystal skull.
Considering the popularity of the franchise and its lead star, Indiana Jones 4 was among the highly anticipated films of the year. It recorded $126 million over the Memorial Day weekend. The critical reaction to the film was mostly positive, and it grossed $790 million globally. The fifth film in the franchise, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, is set to release in June this year.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
The expectations for the Pirates of the Caribbean films were not so high at the time, considering that the movies followed the concert of pirates. However, soon it became one of the biggest film series. The third installment in the Johnny Depp starrer was released in 2007 and grossed a record-breaking holiday opening weekend of $139 million.
Along with topping the Memorial Day weekend, it also became one of the highest-grossing films of the year, making $960 million worldwide. Over a decade and a half later, the film still held on to the top position among movies released on the Memorial Day weekend until the release of the Tom Cruise starrer Top Gun: Maverick.
Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
Released on 27 May 2022, the sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun: Maverick was set to break several records at the box office. Not only the movie became the highest-grossing film of the action star Tom Cruise’s career, but it was also the highest-grossing film of 2022 until the release of James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.
The sequel holds the biggest opening weekend for Memorial Day with $160 million. It continued its remarkable journey at the box office, recording $1.4 billion, and holds the 12th spot among the highest-grossing films of all time. And it would be interesting to see how long the Top Gun sequel will hold on to its top position in the list.
Source: Box Office Mojo