Even with two new wide releases hitting theaters, "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" had no problem landing atop the box office charts once again with a studio estimated $35 million. Meanwhile, "Rock of Ages" and "That's My Boy" both earned less than $5,000 per site and posted very weak openings of $15 million and $13 million, respectively. As new releases struggled, it also opened the door for "Snow White and the Huntsman," "The Avengers" and "Men in Black III" to put up strong weekend totals as they start to wind down their box office runs.
Opening at nearly 3,500 total theaters this weekend, "Rock of Ages" had big expectations from distributor Warner Brothers/New Line. Based on a very popular Broadway musical, the Tom Cruise-starring release also seemed to have an advantageous schedule, as the big box office earners from earlier in the summer were on the decline and audiences seemed ripe for the taking.
But even with a built-in audience and Cruise headlining the cast, "Rock of Ages" completely stalled in theaters, falling well below any of the industry expectations. Instead of potentially challenging the opening weekend of "High Musical 3," which holds the top musical opening ever at $42 million, "Rock of Ages" managed just $15 million overall on a meager per theater average of $4,340. After such a modest opening, it looks like "Rock of Ages" will struggle to find its audience over the next few weekends and it should end up as one of the bigger bombs of the summer.
Also in that category could be Adam Sandler's R-rated comedy "That's My Boy," which easily registered the worst wide opening in Sandler's history. Prior to "That's My Boy," all 12 Sandler releases of at least 3,000 venues have earned $20 million or more opening weekend, helping make him the most bankable comedic actor in the movies. Even Sandler's much maligned "Little Nicky" brought in $16 million opening weekend back in 2000 despite playing in less overall theaters. With such a feeble opening, "That's My Boy" could struggle to find its audience over the next few weekends and may only land in the top ten one or two more times.
With the new releases struggling significantly, Paramount/DreamWorks' "Madagascar 3" continued to make waves at the top of the charts. Coming off of a $60 million, chart-topping opening, "Madagascar 3" slipped just 41% from its opening numbers and pushed its 10-day domestic total to an impressive $120 million. "Madagascar 3" does have some intense competition for family audiences coming up from Pixar/Disney's "Brave," but it also seems to have enough of an audience to remain a major draw throughout the rest of the month and even into July.
Overseas, "Madagascar 3" is also posting some very solid numbers, helping push its worldwide total to $277 million and counting. With a price tag of $145 million, a somewhat modest number for a major animated release these days, "Madagascar 3" looks like a clear hit and will probably end up with numbers similar numbers to the first two releases in the series. Look for "Madagascar 3" to see a substantial dip when "Brave" launches next weekend but to still cross $500 million worldwide by the time it's out of theaters.
Also doing very well around the globe is "Men in Black III," which recently soared past $500 million in total revenue to make it another overall hit for distributor Sony. Though domestic numbers have been so-so for a $225 million production, "MIB III" has racked up nearly $400 million in foreign revenue, more than either of the first two in the series.
Next weekend, animated feature "Brave" is in great position to take over the family demographic and land atop the box office charts once again for animation studio Pixar; each of Pixar's 12 features since 1995 have topped the box office charts, with the last four each surpassing $60 million in their first weekend. R-rated releases "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" will also hit theaters looking to scoop up adult moviegoers, though both will be aiming at mostly separate demographics.
Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 6/15/12 - 6/17/12 (In Millions), [RTT Prediction]:
1. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/DreamWorks): $35.50 [$33]
2. Prometheus (Fox): $20.20 [$26]
3. Rock of Ages (Warner Brothers/New Line): $15.06 [$34]
4. Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal): $13.81 [$11]
5. That's My Boy (Sony): $13 [$27]
6. Men in Black III (Sony/Columbia): $10 [$6.7]
7. The Avengers (Disney): $8.85 [$5.9]
8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight): $2.20 [$1.7]
9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $2.18 [$1.2]
10. What to Expect When You're Expecting (Lionsgate): $1.33 [$1.3]
by RTT Staff Writer
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