Shouldn’t we be extinct by now?
Following the likes of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted and Pixar’s Brave is the fourth entry in the Ice Age franchise, Ice Age: Continental Drift. And like its predecessors, it continues to be animation studio’s Blue Sky’s biggest success, opening with an estimated $46 million. That figure is close to what the original Ice Age made back when it opened a decade ago in March 2012. However, it is nowhere near the opening of the second in the series, Ice Age: The Meltdown, which raked in $68 million its opening weekend. So while it should be apparent that these characters should have met their demise after the first meltdown and tangling with dinosaurs, their numbers keep warranting sequels. Internationally, Continental Drift is a certified blockbuster with receipts totaling $339 million. The last installment grossed an animated genre best $690 million overseas!
Climbing down the water spout to second place is the itsy-bitsy Amazing Spider-Man. With $35 million its second weekend and $200 million overall, on the surface it would appear that TAS isn’t really a box office success story, as compared to the last entry in the franchise, Spider-Man 3. But when you consider that the July 4th holiday happened in the middle of the week versus falling on a Monday or Friday, it through off the opening weekend numbers somewhat. The good news for Sony Pictures is that Marc Webb’s web-slinger had a production budget that was significantly less (okay, around $30 million) than Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. So it may not have the same box office numbers after two weekends like the others in the series, after taking the inflation of production costs and its performance internationally (an estimated $320.5 million thus far), this Spider-Man should have the legs to make it to more than $800 million worldwide.
In its third weekend, Universal’s Ted is on pace to be the studio’s biggest hit of the year. Three weeks ago it opened at $54 million and has maintained strong receipts in the successive weeks with $32 million and $22 million weekends. Not bad for a summer blockbuster that carried a price tag of $50 million (a nominal figure that is much better for the studio’s bottom line than the $170 million it cost to produce Snow White and the Huntsman). Surely, 20th Century Fox is kicking themselves for passing on this, even though the television division has reaped untold riches from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Though, the studio turned it down when it was still in the concept phase with no star attached. Little did they know how big Mark Wahlberg would become as an action-comedy lead. Perhaps the studio had yet to get the taste of sour grapes out of its mouth after Wahlberg starred in the Planet of the Apes remake.
Remember all the talk about Pixar losing its touch? Cars 2 from a few years back was just an excuse for Pixar and Disney to make tons of moola for marketing endorsements on a variety of products. But Brave is a different beast. It’s a princess story but far removed from the Disney template. It was different and it was a change that didn’t sit well with some critics. But it terms of money earned at the box office, Brave is doing just fine. The film should pass $200 million sometime this week before eventually passing Ratatouille‘s $206 million gross. A nice figure, but it’ll likely finish as the studio’s ninth-ranked film in terms of domestic gross. $200 million isn’t what it used to be, I guess.
Though $200 million is an important figure for the studio as Brave gives Pixar ten $200 million domestic hits in eleven years. And with the princess tale still to open in several key markets overseas, look for it to finish with close to $300 million internationally.
Magic Mike, the unlikeliest of summer hits, is about to pass $100 million domestic. Once that happens it will be the third $100 million hit for actor Channing Tatum this year. The skinfest has had women thronging to the theater in droves, some with copies of Fifty Shades of Grey to read while waiting in line. In a perfect world, Magic Mike would join Prometheus as adult-oriented films by strong filmmakers (Steven Soderbergh and Ridley Scott, respectively) but consider this an aberration for summertime viewing. Because the same success can’t be said for Savages, which Universal added to the summer calendar after originally committing to fall. While the crime thriller may have only cost $45 million, without significant stars it had an uphill battle to stay competitive against stronger tentpole fare. Plus, its main competition for adult viewers involved Matthew McConaughey straddling women over his junk while he played the bongos (what, you didn’t stay for the scene after the credits?).
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection, concert doc Katy Perry: Part of Me and Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted are all nearing the end of their runs in theaters. Perry has himself yet another $50 million hit, while Katy Perry is far from a firework at the box office, looking more like the failed Glee 3D concert movie and less like Justin Bieber and Hannah Montana. As for the third Madagascar, it became the first in the series to make more than $200 million domestically.
Probably my favorite story of the summer is how well Moonrise Kingdom has performed ($32.4 million in two months) an alternative to the typical summer movies. Focus Features has been smart to not push the Wes Anderson comedy too fast. In its eighth week of release it continues to play strongly at less than 1000 locations (924 in fact). Once again it registered the lowest drop in the top ten and carries a per-screen average that makes it the fourth-best in the top 10.
Turning to indies and the arthouse, Fox Searchlight’s Beasts of the Southern Wild saw expansion to 81 screens for a $775k take in its third week of release. Its total thus far is $1.7 million. Also seeing expansion was The Weinstein Company’s The Intouchables and FilmDistrict’s Safety Not Guaranteed. The Intouchables, already an international blockbuster with more than $350 million (yes, you read that correctly) amassed, it is holding steady in limited release with $354k, and increase of 30% from last weekend as it moved from 60 to 83 locations. Safety Not Guaranteed moved to 182 locations and finished with $335k ($2.6 million overall). Newcomer Easy Money scored with $23.8k at two locations while documentary The Imposter debuted on a single screen to the tune of $20.6k.
Tags: Beasts of the Southern Wild, box office, Brave, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Magic Mike, Moonrise Kingdom, Savages, Ted, The Amazing Spider-Man, weekend box office
Source: Box Office Mojo