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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Brave’ Plays Big

Weekend Box Office Report: Brave
Disney/Pixar

When it comes to winning big at the box office, never bet against Pixar. ‘Brave‘ is not only the acclaimed animation studio’s thirteenth film, it is their thirteenth film to open at number one at the box office. It’s a track record that just about everyone else in Hollywood would kill for.

1. Brave: $66,739,000 ($66,739,000)

2. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: $20,200,000 ($157,574,000)

3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: $16,500,000 ($16,500,000)

4. Prometheus: $10,000,000 ($108,547,000)

5. Rock of Ages: $8,000,000 ($28,763,000)

6. Snow White and the Huntsman: $8,000,000 ($137,100,000)

7. That’s My Boy: $7,900,000 ($28,180,000)

8. The Avengers: $7,040,000 ($598,300,000)

9. Men in Black 3: $5,600,000 ($163,339,000)

10. Seeking a Friend For the End of the World: $3,836,000 ($3,836,000)

The $66 million opening for ‘Brave’ is typical of new Pixar films, which tend to open in the $65-75 million range and usually gross $250-$300 million (if not more). There was some concern about ‘Brave’ since it’s an original concept and not part of an established brand (not that those factors stopped ‘Up’ from making the big bucks), but the Pixar name is strong among parents and their children. Just say “From the studio that brought you ‘Toy Story 3′” and watch the audiences turn out in droves.

Okay, enough Pixar love, especially since their chief rival, Dreamworks Animation, is no slouch. ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted‘ held on strong for the third week in a row, taking in another $20 million for a total gross of $157 million. $200 million is a certainty, which means that this will be the highest grossing ‘Madagascar’ film yet. Like with the ‘Shrek’ films, expect Dreamworks to continue to pump these things out with shocking regularity.

While the family friendly fare won the weekend, the R-rated historical action films weren’t so hot. ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter‘ only cost about a third of what ‘Battleship’ and ‘John Carter’ cost, so its $16 million opening isn’t exactly devastating, but it’s definitely weak. The film’s generally negative reviews had nothing to with this either…those less-than-impressive numbers have everything to with audiences flat-out rejecting a movie that has the audacity to be called ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.’

In fourth place, ‘Prometheus‘ held on with $10 million. With a total gross of $108 million, Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic is performing quite well for an R-rated movie and it should land somewhere between $130 and $150 million. It’s not a gross that’ll kock anyone’s socks off, but the film will break even and everyone will be at least somewhat content with its minor success.

The next couple of films are so close in their weekend grosses that order may change come Monday morning, but at this moment, it looks like ‘Rock of Ages‘ will snatch the number five spot with $8 million, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman‘ will take number six with its own $8 million and ‘That’s My Boy‘ will fill slot seven with $7.9 million. Although these respective weekend grosses are nearly identical, they mean completely different things. For ‘Snow White and and the Huntsman,’ it’s a victorious number, representing the film holding onto valuable real estate in the top ten. For ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘That’s My Boy,’ it’s a gut punch of a second weekend, reaffirming that audiences just aren’t interested in a singing Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler being an overgrown child (at least for the moment).

Right below those, ‘The Avengers‘ is just about to finish its box office victory lap. In a day or two, it will cross the $600 million mark and will enter the record books as the second highest grossing film of all time. Earlier this year, some critics pondered if superhero movies were on the wane. Now, the answer to that question is clear: nooope.

In the number nine spot, ‘Men in Black 3‘ earned $5 million, taking it to a respectable $163 million. That’s a victorious number for most films, but a shrug for a film as expensive as ‘Men in Black 3′. Not much more to say, really. In the number ten spot, ‘Seeking a Friend For the End of the World‘ was dead on arrival, earning just under $4 million. An inventive premise and the star power of Steve Carrell couldn’t rescue the film from an anemic marketing campaign and a low theater count.

However, there were plenty of victories outside of the top ten. ‘Moonrise Kingdom‘ continued to defy expectations, taking in $3 million for a total gross of $11 million. If the film keeps this momentum, Wes Anderson and crew may be looking at a total gross of $30 million or so. Right under it, the summer’s other surprise victor, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,’ found itself within spitting distance of $40 million. The tiny sci-fi rom com ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ crossed the $1 million mark, riding nearly unanimous praise all the way to the bank.

And finally, we come to the weekend’s real big winner: Woody Allen’s ‘To Rome With Love‘ opened in five theaters and grossed $75,800 per theater for a total of $379,000. It’s unlikely that this will be the surprise smash that ‘Midnight in Paris’ was last year, but this is an early indicator that the film is destined to do quite well in the weeks ahead.

Next week, Stephen Soderbergh and Channing Tatum’s abs bring us ‘Magic Mike,’ Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg bring us ‘Ted’ and Tyler Perry and Tyler Perry bring us ‘Madea’s Witness Protection.’

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