Even with inflated 3D prices, this first weekend is significantly less than both the $48 million haul of the original “Ice Age," as well as the spectacular $68 million opening three day gross of “Ice Age: The Meltdown.” However, CG-animated films, and particularly the 'Ice Age' entries, are not the most predictable box office performers – consider the last installment, “Dawn Of The Dinosaurs,” which only pulled in $66 million over the five day July 4thweekend in 2009. Not only did it become the most successful domestic entry in the series thus far, but it grossed $690 million overseas, the highest tally ever for an animated film in international regions. The third film's weaker opening likely derived from being the first 'Ice Age' film not opening in the spring, launching in a more competitive period, but eventually having the legs to outlast its competition.
He’s Amazing, he’s Spectacular, and he’s got legs. “The Amazing Spider-Man” is best served being compared to “Spider-Man 2,” which opened over the July 4th weekend eight years ago. Well, okay, guess it’s not an airtight comparison, at least in regards to inflation. Regardless, the holiday puts a premium on a spaced-out box office bonanza as opposed to the conventional emphasis on the three-day weekend, leading to the potential for films to have a bit more box office stamina. And while 'Amazing' is very much behind the total of “Spider-Man 2” after a less-impressive opening, it came at a cheaper cost and looks like it’s bound to have a second weekend hold stronger than “Spider-Man 2” and certainly “Spider-Man 3.”
It’s weekend three for “Ted,” which has maintained strong legs in the wake of a much-bigger-than-expected opening, and now looks like a strong play for $200 million domestic. No one could have expected this, least of all Fox, who passed on the $50-$60 million comedy despite the involvement of billionaire golden boy Seth MacFarlane, essentially responsible for an entire night of Fox television programming. Then again, Fox turned “Ted” down before Mark Wahlberg entered the picture, unaware of the rise of one of the more unlikely action-comedy leading men.
“Brave” is on the precipice of $200 million domestic, and should eventually pass the $206-million-grossing “Ratatouille” amongst Pixar efforts, though the $223 million take for “Wall-E” may be a bit too much to overcome. That would put “Brave” as the ninth-ranked Pixar film as far as gross, which is somewhat less impressive considering inflation and 3D are obscuring that its last two efforts were amongst Pixar’s least-attended.
Still dancing in all our hearts is “Magic Mike,” soon to pass $100 million domestic. Though ostensibly something of a crowd-pleaser, 'Mike' was a sub-$10 million indie production, with the domestic rights sold to Warner Bros. for a high seven-figure number. More importantly, however, “Magic Mike” was a zeitgeist film, an attention-getting skinfest that gave Channing Tatum his third hit of the year following “The Vow” and “21 Jump Street.” Ideally, this is the beginning of a renaissance of movies made for adults, by adults, tackling adult themes. Ideally, we would also live in candy houses.
“Madea’s Witness Protection” and “Katy Perry: Part Of Me” are wrapping up their runs, 'Madea' with another $50 million domestic gross to his/her/that’s name. 'Katy Perry' is looking less like the Justin Bieber and Hannah Montana concert efforts, and more like the ignored “Glee The 3D Concert Movie” that you thought you hallucinated but actually happened. Both held steady over “Madagascar,” which became the first film in that series to cross $200 million domestic, while “Moonrise Kingdom” continued to play strongly at only 924 locations, comfortably crossing $30 million and registering the lowest drop in the top ten.
The biggest winner in the indie market was "Beasts Of The Southern Wild," which had a $9.5 per-screen average on 81 screens for a $775k take in its third week of release, and a total of $1.7 million. Also slowly adding screens was "The Intouchables," which held steady with $354k, an increase of 23% from last weekend as it moved from 60 to 83 locations, made even more impressive considering the picture is in its eighth week of release stateside. The French hit has pulled in $3.6 million in the US.
"Take This Waltz" did nearly identical business from last weekend, with a third week take of $150k on 47 screens, bringing it's total to $632k. It was well ahead of a pack of new releases, none of which set the box office on fire. Documentary "The Obama Effect" found little support at 25 locations with a feeble $73k, right ahead of the four-screen engagement of "Farewell, My Queen," grossing $72k.
On a much smaller scale, "Trishna" grabbed $30k at three locations, "Easy Money" scored some with $23.8k at two theaters and documentary "The Imposter" boasted a stellar single screen engagement of $20k. All were more impressive than the surprisingly quiet two-theater bow for "Red Lights," which gathered $10k. Support your local arthouse theaters, boys and girls.
1. Ice Age IV: It’s Pretty Much Madagascar 3D (Fox) - $46 million
2. Spider-Man Redux 3D (Sony) - $35 million ($200.9 mil.)
3. Bearlover (Universal) - $22.1 million ($159 mil.)
4. Brave 3D (Disney/Pixar) - $10.7 million ($195.6 mil.)
5. Michael The Magician (WB) - $9 million ($91.9 mil.)
6. Savages (Universal) - $8.7 million ($31.5 mil.)
7. Madea’s Not Even Trying Anymore (Lionsgate) - $5.6 million ($55.6 mil.)
8. Katy Perry: Essentially Disposable 3D (Paramount) - $3.7 million ($18.5 mil.)
9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) - $3.6 million ($32.4 mil.)
10. Madagascar: It's Pretty Much Ice Age 3D (Paramount/DreamWorks) - $3.5 ($203.7 mil.)