NIGHT at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian opened as the top film over the Memorial Day holiday, beating out a new Terminator film, amid surging box office sales and attendance. Night at the Museum took in $53.5 million for News Corp.s Fox studio, while Terminator Salvation, from Time Warner Inc., was second with $43 million, researcher Box-Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement about one of the biggest movie-going weekends of the year. This was a broadly appealing family comedy, the first one of the summer, said Brandon Gray, president of film researcher Box Office Mojo LLC, in a telephone interview. Terminator is in more of a narrow niche in terms of the audience. The Memorial Day holiday typically ranks as the biggest or second-biggest weekend for theatres. The record for a Memorial Day was set in 2007 when Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End was in release. A large turnout will boost Hollywoods chances of breaking the domestic box-office record set two years ago. As of yesterday, sales were ahead 15 percent of last years levels and attendance had increased 12 percent. Night at the Museum gave Twentieth Century Fox another big opener, following X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was released May 1 and ranked as the top weekend film this year with $85 million over three days, according to Box- Office, which tracks receipts. The weekends other new release, Dance Flick, was fifth with sales of $11 million for Viacom Inc.s Paramount Pictures and MTV Films. The spoof, directed by Damon Wayans, follows a street dancer from a poor neighborhood who tries to make it in a big-time dance competition. The movie had a production budget of about $25 million, according to The weekends top 12 films grossed about $170.3 million, up 1.7 percent from the same period a year earlier, said. All films grossed an estimated $171 million, down less than 1 percent. Bloomberg Total box office revenue this year is $3.85 billion, up 15 percent from the same period last year, according to the report. The following table has figures provided by studios to Box-Office. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for May 22 to May 23, and estimates for today. Bloomberg