Despite another strong weekend from "Madagascar 3," Disney/Pixar's "Brave" opened big with a chart-topping $66 million, giving it the fourth biggest opening of the year as other new releases fizzled. Aiming at a much different demographic was "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," though the Fox released struggled to find its audience and ended up with a so-so $16.5 million in opening weekend revenue. Comedy "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" also launched at more than 1,600 theaters but barely slid into the bottom of the top ten with just $3.8 million.
Opening atop the box office charts is nothing new for Pixar, as "Brave" marks the 13th time in 17 years that the animation studio has seen a release do exactly that. With the fourth biggest opening ever for a Pixar release, "Brave" looks like yet another major box office success and should continue to hit with family audiences well into July, even with the latest "Ice Age" launching in a couple of weeks.
"Brave" also won't be limited to success in the U.S., mainly due to Disney/Pixar's unparalleled reputation with international family audiences. Over the last decade, the only Pixar release not to cross $500 million worldwide was "Cars," which still racked up $461 million back in 2006. "Brave" doesn't look like it's on target to be one of Pixar's biggest overall hits, but it will still finish its box office run as one of the most successful family films of the year. Pixar's next release, "Monsters University," looks to have even more commercial potential and could become only the second Pixar release to take a run at $1 billion worldwide ("Toy Story 3").
While "Brave" easily found family audiences, R-rated "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" took aim at adults looking for a few thrills. Targeting the same horror crowds that made "Snakes on a Plane" a moderate hit back in 2006, "Abraham Lincoln" was at least able to surpass $5,000 per theater, though an opening of $16.5 million is sub-par for a $65 million production with limited foreign appeal. With American-heavy subject matter, "Abraham Lincoln" shouldn't have much of an audience outside of the U.S. and its outlook for the rest of the summer appears extremely limited.
Going for a much smaller audience this weekend was R-rated comedy "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World." Even with popular comedic actor Steve Carell headlining the cast, "Seeking" received a limited release of just 1,625 theaters from Summit and completely whiffed with adult audiences, making it unlikely that it will land in the top ten for a second time. "Seeking" made just $2,361 per venue despite the limited release, which is a red flag moving forward. Look for "Seeking" to fall well out of the top next weekend as an eclectic group of new titles hits theaters.
Though the new releases outside of "Brave" struggled to meet expectations this weekend, "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" continued to do very well with family audiences despite heavy competition. "Madagascar 3" dipped only 41% from last weekend even with an aggressive release from "Brave," giving the Paramount/Dreamworks distribution its third straight weekend with at least $20 million. Now sporting a $157-million domestic total, "Madagascar 3" should eventually come close to $200 million in the U.S. and is also starting to show major signs of life overseas as well.
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 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.
Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 6/22/12 - 6/24/12 (In Millions), [RTT Prediction]:
1. Brave (Disney): $66.74 [$67]
2. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $20.20 [$17]
3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Fox): $16.50 [$28]
4. Prometheus (Fox): $10 [$9.5]
5. Rock of Ages (Warner Brothers/New Line): $8 [$7.8]
6. Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal): $8 [$6.7]
7. That's My Boy (Sony): $7.90 [$6.6]
8. The Avengers (Disney): $7.04 [$4.9]
9. Men in Black III (Sony/Columbia): $5.60 [$5.9]
10. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Focus): $3.84 [$8.4]
by RTT Staff Writer
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