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Weekend Box Office: 'Snow White and the Huntsman' Surpasses Universal's Lowball Projections

Thompson on Hollywood By Brian Fuson | Thompson on Hollywood June 3, 2012 at 1:06PM

Universal’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” cast its spell on the weekend box office as it flew past early projections. The fantasy action-adventure film racked up an estimated $56.3 million to easily capture the top spot. Heading into the session most observers had “Snow White” opening in the $40 to $45 million range.

The strong opening for “Snow White” is more impressive considering that no higher priced 3 D tickets were in the mix and the picture was not a sequel nor a franchise, and just a few months earlier another film was released that was also based on the same classic fable.

Relativity Media’s “Mirror Mirror,” starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins, took a lighter, more comedic family approach to the fairy tale and opened with a modest $18.1 million, going on to collect $62.5 million domestically, and did better overseas with $97.9 million, for a worldwide total of $160.4 million.  But compared with “Snow White’s” reported budget of $170 million, the Tarsem helmed “Mirror” cost a relatively restrained $100 million to produce.

Internationally “Snow White” is in the early stages of its rollout and gleaned an estimated $39.3 million from 45 territories--the largest was the UK's $5.5 million--and was the number one film in 30 of those markets. The estimated worldwide cume is $95.6 million.

Looking down the road, “Snow White” should show some legs, although it generated a modest ‘B’ CinemaScore from moviegoers.  The audience was slightly more female (53%) and slightly older (52% were age 30 or more).  According to, a low 46% of critics gave the film a positive nod, not enough for a Fresh rating.

Next weekend shows promise: expectations are high for the opening of Fox’s “Prometheus” from director Ridley Scott, which also stars Theron, and for family audiences, Paramount’s “Madagascar 3” from DreamWorks.

box office chart 6/3


This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.