With crowds for "The Amazing Spider-Man" starting to thin out, "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is in great position to launch, opening the door for a big first weekend in theaters for the popular Fox franchise. As "Ice Age" takes over the family demographic, "Spider-Man" gets one more round without any competition, giving it the potential for another big weekend before "The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters.
Though big releases from Disney/Pixar and Paramount/Dreamworks have received much of the buzz in animation, Fox has had some very big hits in recent years. First launching in 2002, "Ice Age" easily found family audiences to the tune of $176 million in the U.S. and nearly $400 million around the globe. The next two releases ("The Meltdown" and "Dawn of the Dinosaurs") in the series took it to the next level, as worldwide revenue grew to $886 million worldwide for "Dawn of the Dinosaurs" in 2009.
With a budget roughly half of the major Pixar productions, "Dawn of the Dinosaurs" earned more than every Pixar release except for "Toy Story 3." Now, with a large built-in audience, the "Ice Age" franchise hits theaters in a very good position as "Brave" slows heading into its fourth weekend.
The only potential downside for "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is some mixed reviews, though that still shouldn't be much of a problem. After guiding the critically thrashed "Alvin and the Chipmunks" franchise to enormous revenues, Fox clearly has a strong feel for family audiences and "Ice Age" looks like an easy sell. Though the presence of "Brave" could somewhat limit the opening numbers of "Continental Drift," look for a solid opening around $55 million this weekend and some big worldwide numbers to follow in the coming weeks.
With "Ice Age: Continental Drift" representing the only wide release of the weekend, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has at least one more weekend to make a dent with action audiences. Despite some big numbers over a holiday week, "The Amazing Spider-Man" has a long way to go to match the numbers of the original trilogy, as each made more than $330 million domestically and $780 million worldwide. Reviews have been mostly good and audience reaction has been solid, though we'll know a lot more about the level of fan support after its second weekend in theaters.
Even though the numbers for "The Amazing Spider-Man" haven't been stellar in the U.S, overseas figures have been expectedly huge. "Spider-Man" is already approaching $400 million worldwide and should continue to do very well in foreign markets over the next few weekends. With such massive worldwide appeal, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" has already been greenlit and is slated to kick-off the summer release schedule in 2014.
Also continuing to put up some very big numbers is "Ted," Seth MacFarlane's R-rated comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. "Ted" has been a big hit with adult audiences from the start, helping it rack up more than $130 million domestically heading into its third weekend in theaters. With no added competition this weekend, "Ted" is in great position for yet another big weekend, likely pushing it well past the $138 million of "21 Jump Street" to become the top R-rated hit of the year.
Though "Ice Age" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" should easily dominate the box office this weekend, everything changes next Friday with arguably the most anticipated release of the summer. Like "The Avengers," "The Dark Knight Rises" has an enormous fan base and is a lock to be among the top earners of the year. After "The Dark Knight" cracked $500 million domestically and $1 billion worldwide, Christopher Nolan's famed "Batman" trilogy has about as much hype as possible heading into an opening weekend.
RTT Box Office Predictions for 7/13/12 - 7/15/12 (In Millions):
1. Ice Age: Continental Drift (Fox): $55
2. The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony/Columbia): $38
3. Ted (Universal): $18
4. Brave (Disney): $9.5
5. Savages (Universal): $8
6. Magic Mike (Warner Brothers): $7.7
7. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (Lionsgate): $4.9
8. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount/Dreamworks): $3.4
9. Katy Perry: Part of Me (Paramount): $3.2
10. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus): $2.3
by RTT Staff Writer
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