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Weekend Box Office Chilled by 'Ice Age 4'

Box Office
by Brian Fuson
July 15, 2012 1:55 PM
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'Ice Age 4'
'Ice Age 4'

No big surprises at the box office this weekend as 20th Century Fox’s CG-animated family friendly “Ice Age: Continental Drift” opened in the top spot with an estimated $46 million. 

With an international weekend gross of $95 million, “Ice Age 4” was the number one film worldwide with $141 million. “Continental Drift” opened internationally with a staggered release schedule beginning June 28, and has picked up $339 million to date, for a worldwide cume of a cool $385 million through the weekend.

Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” demonstrated some sticking power as it fell just 44% from its opening last week, taking in an estimated $35 million to capture the second spot.  The Marc Webb feature, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the franchise reboot, has amassed an impressive $200.9 million since its release.  On a worldwide basis “Spider-Man” has grossed an amazing $521.3 million to date.

Universal’s “Ted” continues to bring in audiences as it moved into the third spot, grossing an estimated $22.15 million on its third weekend in theaters, off a meager 31% from a week ago.  The raunchy R-rated comedy starring Marc Wahlberg and Mila Kunis has picked up a stout $160 million so far.

The debut for the Blue Sky Studios' “Ice Age 4” was the third best of the four films in the franchise, behind the original “Ice Age” which opened with $46.3 million in March of 2002, and “The Meltdown” with $68 million in March of 2006, but ahead of the $41.7 million generated by “Dawn of the Dinosaurs” in July of 2009, which also marked the first time the franchise opened during the summer.

The opening weekend gross for “Ice Age 4” was helped by those higher priced 3-D tickets, as was the third film, but was hindered by two other high profile family oriented films that are still playing in the top 10 - Disney’s “Brave” from Pixar and Paramount’s “Madagascar 3” from DreamWorks, which pulled in a combined $14.2 million between them.
“It’s really satisfying to see the fourth film in the franchise do as well or better then that third film,” said Chris Aronson, President of Domestic Distribution for 20th Century Fox.

The first “Ice Age” film not to be directed by Carlos Saldanha, who helmed the first three, “Ice Age 4” was helmed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier.  The familiar voices returned for the fourth film, including Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo.

The debut for the PG-rated comedy was on the low side of expectations but in the area anticipated.  The fourth film in the franchise generated a sturdy “A”- CinemaScore from moviegoers, a sterling “A” from those under 18 years of age, all of which should help it get some traction at the boxoffice with its core audience in the weeks ahead with positive word of mouth.  Reviewers were not as kind as just 40% gave the film positive marks, according to an aggregate tallied by RottenTomatoes.com. The audience was split pretty evenly male/female and agewise as well, with 50/50 being over and under 25 years of age.

With $385 million already under its boxoffice belt, the film’s estimated $90 million cost is already covered.  The total worldwide gross from the previous three films is a sizzling $2.1 billion, with some 73% of that coming from international markets.  The franchise has not behaved at the boxoffice in a typical fashion - rather than bringing in incrementally lower grosses, in the case of “Ice Age” each successive release has found a bigger audience and therefore higher grosses - both domestically and internationally.

The first “Ice Age” film was released in 2002 and racked up $383.3 million worldwide, followed by “Ice Age: The Meltdown” in 2006 with $655.5 million, and 2009’s “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” pulled in a stellar $886.7 million worldwide.

The total gross for all films this weekend is an estimated $161 million, down nearly 39% from last year’s comparable frame.  But that drop was due largely to the release the last “Harry Potter” film last year, which pulled in a staggering $169.2 million by itself that weekend.

box office chart july 15

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