With two prominent new releases getting launched, it ended up one of the busiest weekends of the summer in theaters across the country, second only to the weekend that "The Avengers" opened at the beginning of May. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" ended up as the top overall draw with $60 million in opening revenue and "Prometheus" posted a strong $50 million, a nice total for an R-rated release facing plenty of competition for adult audiences. Also sneaking into the top ten was Wes Anderson's critically lauded "Moonrise Kingdom," a limited release that is building strong buzz as it starts to expand.
Following two very successful releases in the franchise, "Madagascar 3" had an easy time finding its target demographic as it launched at 4,258 total theaters this weekend. Without any real family competition to speak of, the Paramount/Dreamworks release was able to surpass $14,000 per site and $60 million overall. Pixar's "Brave" also doesn't launch for a couple more weeks, giving "Madagascar 3" a window to post some solid numbers until then as the only major family draw.
Internationally, "Madagascar 3" also has plenty of potential, as each of the first two entries in the series surpassed $500 million worldwide. With "Madagascar 2" breaking $600 million back in 2008, there seems to be a very big foreign audience for the franchise and "Madagascar 3" should finish with similar overall numbers. Even if "Madagascar 3" doesn't approach the $180 million in domestic revenue that its predecessor made, it still looks like another big commercial success for Paramount/Dreamworks and a fourth entry seems very possible.
Also posting a strong opening weekend was director Ridley Scott's "Prometheus," an unofficial prequel to sci-fi classic "Alien." "Prometheus" ended up with a per theater average near $15,000, showing that there is a significant mainstream audience to appeal to moving forward. "Prometheus" also doesn't have too much genre competition next weekend and even the presence of R-rated "That's My Boy" shouldn't affect its second weekend numbers too badly.
With a well-known cast led by Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender, there also should be a significant amount of international appeal over the next month or so. Considering it has a production budget around $125 million, Prometheus" also isn't one of the more expensive movies of the summer and a $50 million domestic opening is a very good sign.
While "Prometheus" and "Madagascar 3" scooped up mainstream audiences, "Moonrise Kingdom" also snuck into the top ten as it expanded to 96 total theaters this weekend. Director Wes Anderson's latest has been met with nearly universal acclaim, and a cast that includes Bill Murray and Ed Norton should help its appeal to adult audiences as it continues its expansion over the next couple of weekends. Though it's unlikely that "Moonrise" will click with mainstream crowds, it could enjoy a steady run with niche audiences over the next month or so.
Aiming at a much different audience was "Snow White and the Huntsman," which put up a meager second weekend in theaters due to strong competition from "Prometheus" and so-so buzz. "Snow White" racked up a decent $56 million in opening weekend revenue, though it dipped 59% and ended up with just $23 million this weekend. With a $98 million 10-day domestic intake, a mediocre total for a $170 million production, "Snow White" will have to post big numbers outside of the U.S. to end up a commercial success for distributor Universal.
Next weekend, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Russell Brand headline "Rock of Ages," a PG-13 musical looking to ride the popularity of 1980s hair bands to the top of the box office charts. Adam Sandler's R-rated comedy "That's My Boy" will also hit theaters, with Sandler teaming up with Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg.
Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 6/8/12 - 6/10/12 (In Millions), [RTT Prediction]:
1. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $60.35 [$72]
2. Prometheus (Fox): $50 [$62]
3. Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal): $23.02 [$25]
4. Men in Black III (Sony/Columbia): $13.50 [$14]
5. The Avengers (Disney): $10.81 [$12]
6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight): $3.24 [$3]
7. What to Expect When You're Expecting (Lionsgate): $2.71 [$2.3]
8. Battleship (Universal): $2.29 [$2.4]
9. The Dictator (Paramount): $2.15 [$2.4]
10. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $1.58 [N/A]
by RTT Staff Writer
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