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Friday, August 22, 2014



Weekend Wrap-Up: Animated Animals Outpace Aliens

In just two weeks, the box office went from slump to soaring. Both Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus were box office hits and for first time in nearly four years and for only the second time ever, two films opened with more than $50 million at the box office. The overall box office reached $182 million, which shows the holdovers were also an important part of the overall picture. This was an increase of 27% from last weekend and a 32% increase from last year. A 32% increase would be amazing under normal circumstances, but just two weeks ago, we saw a 30% decrease in the year-over-year comparison, which makes this turnaround even more stunning. Year-to-date, 2012 remains ahead of 2011 by just shy of 10% at $4.70 billion to $4.28 billion and things look pretty good next weekend as well. Not as good as they were this weekend, but pretty good.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted beat expectations earning $60.32 million over the weekend, which was the seventh biggest June opening of all time. It wasn't quite the best opening in the Madagascar franchise, but its reviews were the best of the three Madagascar films, so perhaps its legs will take it over the top. Even if it falls a little short of its predecessors domestically, the international markets should be generous.

It turns out the international numbers lifted expectations for Prometheus a little too high, but it was still a major hit with $51.05 million. By comparison, this is more than Alien: Resurrection made in total. The film's reviews were good, very good compared to a lot of summer blockbusters, but they were not Earth-shattering, which is what a lot of people were anticipating. Unreasonable expectations could explain the rather disturbing drop-off from Friday to Sunday and this does make the future of the film a little troubling. On the other hand, its international numbers are solid, so it should break even sooner rather than later no matter what happens here next weekend.

Snow White and the Huntsman fell faster than expected down 59% to $23.06 million over the weekend for a total of $98.54 million after two. The Fangirl Effect was stronger than anticipated. On the other hand, the film has nearly matched its production budget in just ten days, so the studio has to be happy with that. Its international numbers are strong and it should do relatively well on the home market, so profitability is almost assured.

Men in Black 3 added $13.90 million over the weekend for a total of $135.90 million after three. It won't watch its predecessors domestically, but it might do so worldwide. It better come close, because it was a very expensive movie to make.

The Avengers earned $11.25 million over the weekend for a total of $572.30 million. At this point, I've run out of words to describe how amazing this film's run has been.

One last major note. The Hunger Games has fallen out of the top ten, but it managed to get to $400 million domestically. It became just the 14th film to reach $400 million and it did so in 80 days, which is actually a record. It became the slowest film to get to that milestone during its initial release (as opposed to re-releases). This means we had the fastest film to $400 million, The Avengers, and the slowest, The Hunger Games, reaching that milestone within a month of each other.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-06-12

Movies 
 Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
 Prometheus
 Snow White and the Huntsman
 Men in Black 3
 Marvel's The Avengers
 The Hunger Games