After Hours

Geek Trivia: What is the second most successful movie release weekend of all time?

Memorial Day weekend has been the most successful movie box office weekend in U.S. history. Another weekend is a very close second, and perhaps due for some geek love.

A total of 28 of the top 50 all-time top grossing U.S. movie releases have occurred on one of five "billion-dollar weekends" and eight of those films came out the weekend of Memorial Day. Five of them, however, came out on the weekend before Christmas. The lists below include each billion-dollar weekend, the Top 50 U.S.-grossing movies that were released on those dates, and how much each movie earned.

Memorial Day Weekend

The Empire Strikes Back | $290,158,751

Return of the Jedi | $309,125,409

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End | $309,404,152

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones | $310,675,583

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull | $317,011,114

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith | $380,262,555

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace | $431,065,444

Star Wars | $460,935,665

TOTAL | $2,808,638,673 Pre-Christmas Weekend

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring | $313,837,577

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers | $340,478,898

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King | $377,019,252

Titanic | $600,779,824

Avatar | $760,505,847

TOTAL | $2,392,621,398 First Weekend in May

Iron Man 2

| $312,057,433

Iron Man

| $318,298,180

Spider-Man 3

| $336,530,303

Spider-Man 2

| $373,377,893


| $403,706,375 The Avengers* | $457,665,517 TOTAL | $2,201,635,701 Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend

Home Alone | $285,761,243

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire | $289,994,397

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 | $294,980,434

Twilight Saga: New Moon | $296,619,304

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone | $317,557,891

TOTAL | $1,484,913,269 Independence Day Weekend

Twilight Saga: Eclipse | $300,523,113

Independence Day | $306,124,059

Transformers | $318,759,914

Transformers 2: Dark of the Moon | $352,358,779

TOTAL | $1,277,765,865

*Avengers is still earning, so the totals may change somewhat.

Thanks in no small part to Peter Jackson and James Cameron, the weekend before Christmas is the second most successful movie release weekend in U.S. history. You can make a case that there might need to be another geek holiday around this time, but the late-December calendar is already pretty crowded.

That's not just a simultaneously scheduled slate of sensory-overloading cinema; it's an annually awe-inspiring allocation of Geek Trivia.

About Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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