Even though "Madagascar 3" crowds will still be strong this weekend, Pixar's "Brave" launches at 4,000 total theaters and should easily top the box office charts, continuing Pixar's perfect record of number one hits in the process. Also hitting theaters in an eclectic weekend will be "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," an R-rated horror-thriller that should have some adult appeal at 3,000 sites. Steve Carell's R-rated comedy "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" will also take aim at adults, though its box office impact will be limited by a smaller release of just 1,400 venues.
Even though Pixar's last release, "Cars 2," was panned by most critics - something unheard of by Pixar's standards - we did get to see that the famed animation studio hasn't lost its touch with mainstream audiences. Despite the bad buzz, "Cars 2" racked up $66 million in its opening weekend last June, keeping Pixar's perfect record of chart-toppers intact. Dating back to "Toy Story" in 1995, each of Pixar's twelve releases have reached number one at the box office, with all but two getting there on opening weekend; "Toy Story 2" and "A Bug's Life" started in limited release but easily reached the top of the charts when they expanded.
With a flawless reputation and a huge marketing push from Disney, "Brave" is in a great position to put up yet another big opening weekend for Pixar - even if the success of "Madagascar 3" could limit its overall potential. Though "Brave" doesn't carry the same level of critical praise as flagship films like "Toy Story," "Up" and "Finding Nemo," critical buzz has still been very positive and families should show up in droves this weekend. Look for "Brave" to finish in the $67 to $70 million range, easily enough to finish well ahead of the rest of the field.
Across the hall from the family audiences of "Brave" and "Madagascar 3" will be "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," an R-rated thriller in the same vein as "Snakes on a Plane" and "Piranha 3D." From director Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted"), "Abraham Lincoln" promises a unique take on the life of the famed president, which should be a good fit for audiences looking for a bit of laughable fun at the movies. Even if it has been mostly ripped by critics, that probably won't have too much of an impact on the target demographic. Without much competition, a nice opening weekend in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 million seems possible.
Hitting roughly half the theaters of "Abraham Lincoln" will be "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," an R-rated comedy starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. Taking a different angle from the usual cataclysmic thriller, "Seeking a Friend" is a lighter comedy from the same distributor as indie gems like "The Kids Are All Right" and "Moonrise Kingdom." At roughly 1,400 total theaters this weekend, "Seeking a Friend" could make close to $10 million
The weekend could also be the last that "The Avengers" makes it to the top ten as it nears the end of a record-breaking run in theaters. "The Avengers" smashed the domestic opening record and is now past $1.4 billion worldwide, making it the third highest grossing movie of all-time. But even though the $207 million opening of "The Avengers" seems safe for the immediate future, both "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" have an outside chance to supplant "The Avengers" as the top grossing movie of 2012.
Next weekend, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane launches his first feature release with "Ted," an R-rated comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. Other new releases will include Channing Tatum's R-rated crime drama "Magic Mike," PG-13 drama "People Like Us," and Tyler Perry's "Madea's Witness Protection." The box office will get another boost on Tuesday, July 3rd, as reboot "The Amazing Spider-Man" hits theaters looking to revamp the popular Sony franchise with a fresh angle.
RTT Box Office Predictions for 6/22/12 - 6/24/12 (In Millions):
1. Brave (Buena Vista): $67
2. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Fox): $28
3. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $17
4. Prometheus (Fox): $9.5
5. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Focus): $8.4
6. Rock of Ages (Warner Brothers/New Line): $7.8
7. Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal): $6.7
8. That's My Boy (Sony): $6.6
9. Men in Black III (Sony/Columbia): $5.9
10. The Avengers (Disney): $4.9
by RTT Staff Writer
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