Sith Reigns at Box Office

Like a single blast from the Death Star, Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith demolished all competition at the box office and put an end to the streak of weak ticket sales that has been plaguing the movie industry. The latest installment in the Star Wars saga pulled in approximately $108.5 million over the weekend, driving its four-day total to an estimated $158.5 million.

After enjoying the biggest midnight opening in history, Sith went on make a whopping $50 million on Thursday alone, beating the $45 million single-day record previously held by Shrek 2. However, the phenomenal Thursday debut drew some heat off of the film’s weekend numbers, keeping it from breaking the record set by Spider-Man, which earned $114 million during its first weekend. Still, the trilogy ender set worldwide records with a $303 million debut.

New Line Cinema’s Monster In Law dropped to second place, managing an estimated $14.3 in the shadow of Lord Vader. The Jennifer Lopez/Jane Fonda comedy is proving profitable at just over $44 million to date. Meanwhile, Will Ferrell’s latest kid comedy effort, Kicking and Screaming, is showing weaker legs. The Universal pic earned just $10.5 million in its sophomore week, slipping to third with a cume of around $34 million.

Rounding out the top five are two third-week holdovers. Lions Gate’s race relations drama, Crash, failed to make an impact with $5.5 million and Focus Features’ martial arts actioner, Unleashed, was muzzled with a mere $3.8 million.

According to ILM’s Rob Coleman, CG animation supervisor on Revenge of the Sith, the film features a full 90 minutes of digital animation. You can read Coleman’s remarks and learn more about the film’s 1,250-plus effects shots in the June issue of Animation Magazine, currently available by subscription and a Barnes & Noble stores.