For the second consecutive weekend, Paramount/DreamWorks’ “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” and 20th Century Fox’s “Prometheus” held the top two spots, and in that order, with the former taking in an estimated $35.5 million and the latter grossing around $20.2 million. UPDATE: See top ten box office chart below.
What wasn’t expected were low-grossing debuts and third and fifth place finishes for the weekend’s two new wide releases, Warner Bros.’ “Rock of Ages” and Sony’s “That’s My Boy,” as “Rock” sank into third on its opening with an estimated $15.1 million and “Boy” placed fifth with a dismal $13 million. The debuts were especially disappointing considering the star wattage in both films – Tom Cruise was topped-billed in “Rock” and Adam Sandler starred in “Boy.” In the past both actors have tended to be safe bets for getting a film to open respectably at the box office.
Overall, due to the weak debuts of the two new arrivals, the box office in North America was down 15% from the comparable session last year, with the total for all films estimated to be around $130 million. “The Green Lantern” topped the charts a year ago, debuting with $53.2 million.
After just 10 days in release “Madagascar 3” has generated a hefty $120.5 million as the family friendly PG-rated adventure has proven to be a crowd pleaser in theaters, slipping a minor 41% on its sophomore frame as positive word of mouth and favorable reviews drive moviegoers to theaters.
R-rated sci-fi thriller “Prometheus” was down 60% from its solid debut a week earlier. The Ridley Scott picture has uncovered an estimated $88.9 million after 10 days in release.
The PG-13 rated “Rock of Ages” was helmed by Adam Shankman, who directed another (better-reviewed) musical imported from Broadway, “Hairspray.” Besides Cruise, “Rock” top-lined Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta Jones, Alec Baldwin and Mary J. Blige. The film was a musical drama based on the Broadway production of the same name, and cost a reported $75 million to produce.