Box Office Guru Wrapup: Madagascar Holds on to Top Spot

The animated sequel outdid both new wide releases... combined.


This weekend, in a situation eerily similar to one in June of 2010, an animated threequel in its second weekend held off the openings of films from box office heavyweights Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler. Except this year, it was much, much worse.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted easily held onto the box office crown this week, dipping 41% from last weekend to an estimated $35.5M, bringing its cume to $120.5M. The hold was actually a little better than the threequel from 2010, Disney's Toy Story 3, which fell 46% from its opening weekend. Of course by the end of its second weekend the Woody and Buzz toon had banked $226.9M and would go on to be the top grossing film of the year. Still, Ben Stiller and company should see their animated wonder end with a final of around $220M, which would be the best in the series, albeit this time helped by 3D surcharges.

The highly anticipated sci-fi prequel Prometheus stayed in the number two position this week, but fell 60% from its opening to an estimated $20.2M, bringing its total to $88.8M. Mixed reviews and lack of post-opening weekend buzz haven't helped Ridley Scott's return to the genre he helped define decades ago, so look for the alien encounter film to end its run in the $130M range.

Two years ago Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler opened films on the same weekend, with Sandler coming out on top by a $20M margin. This year, Cruise's film opened bigger by around $2M, but both were highly disappointing. Rock of Ages, based on the Broadway musical and featuring rock tunes from the 80s, opened to a less-than-stellar $15M this weekend from 3,470 theaters for a per screen average of a middling $4,340. Starring a cornucopia of stars, including Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones, to go along with Cruise, the film simply didn't connect with audiences. The audience breakdown was 62% female with 74% of the audience over the age of 25 -- older women who grew up with the music featured in the film. Reviews were mostly negative though audiences gave the film a B according to CinemaScore. Cruise's film from 2010 was Knight and Day (co-starring Cameron Diaz) and it opened to $20.1M. It'll be interesting to see how much blame Cruise gets for this opening as he was barely featured in the trailers and was more of a supporting (albeit highly entertaining) character to Julianne Hough and Diego Bonita.

Levelling off a little in its third trip around the box office charts was the dark fairy tale Snow White and the Huntsman which dropped 40% this weekend to an estimated $13.8M, bringing its cume to $122.6M with a sequel already greenlit by Universal.

In June of 2010 Adam Sandler led a group of comedy cohorts to a strong $40.5M opening with Grown Ups. The film, which co-starred Kevin James, Chris Rock and Salma Hayek among others, ended up with a final cume of $162M and a sequel is in the works. This weekend however, Sandler's That's My Boy opened with $13M, according to estimates, from 3,030 theaters for a per screen average of $4,290. The film's R rating certainly played a role as it stopped Sandler's teen audience from coming out to see it, but it seems as far as co-stars go, Andy Samberg is no Chris Rock. Or even a Rob Schneider. The film received a B- from CinemaScore viewers and will be hard pressed to end its run matching the opening weekend of Grown Ups. And to add just a little more perspective, two brand new movies starring two of the biggest box office draws in history took in less COMBINED than the second weekend of Madagascar 3.

Men in Black 3 led the back half of the top 10, coming in at number six this weekend, adding another $10M to its coffers, according to estimates, bringing its total to $152.7M. Box office behemoth The Avengers had the best hold in the top 10, dipping only 21.3% in its seventh weekend to an estimated $8.8M, bringing its cume to a superhero-sized $586.7M. With the $600M barrier within reach, the only question now is whether or not The Dark Knight Rises can match its Marvel counterpart.

A couple of indie darlings bring up the next two spots. Landing at number eight this week was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which dropped 33% from last weekend to an estimated $2.2M, bringing its total up to $35M. Rising 40% from last weekend was the latest from Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom, which continues its impressive run in limited release. This weekend the film took in just under $2.2M bringing its total to $6.8M while still playing on less than 200 screens.

What to Expect When You're Expecting rounded out the top 10 with an estimated $1.3M bringing its cume to $38.8M. And falling just outside the top 10 were a couple of big budget disappointments with Battleship taking in $1.2M bringing its cume to $62M and The Dictator rousting up another $1.1M bringing its total to $57.7M.

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