Box Office Recap: ‘Ice Age’ Chilling at Number One

“Ice Age: Continental Drift,” the fourth film in Fox’s animated “Ice Age” series, was the nation’s number one movie this weekend. But while “Ice Age’s” $46 million domestic gross was the weekend’s best, it represents an underwhelming debut performance.

“Continental Drift’s” $46.6 million opening was right on par with the first “Ice Age’s” $46.3 million, but its numbers were weak in comparison to the series’ middle installments. The second film, “Ice Age: The Meltdown,” made $68 million in its first weekend. The franchise’s most recent release, “Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs,” came out on a Wednesday, so it doesn’t offer a very effective straight comparison, but “Continental Drift” has little chance of topping that film’s $66.7 million five-day total.

“Ice Age’s” numbers are likewise dwarfed by some of this year’s other animated tentpoles. For example, “The Lorax” opened to $70.2 million, while “Brave” and “Madagascar 3” raked in $66.3 million and $60.3 million, respectively.

Partly as a result of “Ice Age” being the weekend’s lone new release, the charts remained astoundingly static behind it. With just one exception, last week’s top nine movies remained in exactly the same order, each sliding back one position. The lone change was “Madagascar 3” moving from seventh to tenth place behind  “Katy Perry: Part of Me” and Wes Anderson’sMoonrise Kingdom,” which stayed entrenched in eighth and ninth place with $3.8 and $3.7 million, respectively.

The weekend’s second place movie was “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which fell 44 percent, grossing $34.6 million. Such a drop is not unexpected and actually displays a stronger second week percentage-wise than the second (48.7 percent) and third (61.5 percent) installments in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man series. However, in terms of actual gross, “The Amazing Spider-Man” made significantly less in its second go around than its predecessors. That said, the film did surpass $200 million in domestic gross yesterday.

In third place, “Ted” held strong, easing 30.4 percent to $22.4 million in its third weekend. After breaking the record for best opening weekend for an original R-rated comedy, the film continues to chug along and remains just ahead of “The Hangover’s” totals through its first 17 days. “Ted” still has around $127 million to go, but it will likely be the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all-time before its run is over.

Partly as a result of “Ice Age” being the weekend’s lone new release, the charts remained astoundingly static behind it. With just one exception, last week’s top nine movies remained in exactly the same order, each sliding back one position. The lone change was “Madagascar 3” moving from seventh to tenth place behind  “Katy Perry: Part of Me” and Wes Anderson’sMoonrise Kingdom,” which stayed entrenched in eighth and ninth place with $3.8 and $3.7 million, respectively.

“Madagascar’s” drop is easily explained by “Ice Age’s” entry into the field, as the films compete for the same target demographics. However, the weekend’s fourth place film, “Brave,” was surprisingly unphased by the new competition. Pixar’s latest release dropped 43.1 percent to $11.1 million. Having grossed over $196 million domestically so far, it’s a foregone conclusion that “Brave” will be the studio’s tenth release to pass the $200 million mark.

This was a quiet weekend at the box office, but we won’t be able to say the same seven days from now, as “The Dark Knight Rises” debuts on Friday.

Here are the results for this weekend’s top 10 at the box office:

Title/Weeks in release/Theater count, Studio/Three-day weekend total/Cume

1. Ice Age: Continental Drift, 1/3,881, Fox, $46.629 million.
2. The Amazing Spider-Man, 2/4,318, Sony, $34.628 million, $200.5 million.
3. Ted, 3/3,303, Universal, $32.593 million, $120.24 million.
4. Brave, 4/3,392, Buena Vista, $22.41 million, $196.061 million.
5. Savages, 2/2,635, Universal, $9.393 million, $32.125 million.
6. Magic Mike, 3/3,090, Warner Bros., $9.021 million, $91.841 million.
7. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection, 3/2,004, LGF, $5.584 million, $55.611 million.
8. Katy Perry: Part of Me, 2/3,732, Paramount, $3.8 million, $18.653 million.
9. Moonrise Kingdom, 8/924, Focus, $3.704 million, $32.483 million.
10. Madagascar 3, 6/2,285, Paramount/Dreamworks, $3.669 million, $203.901 million.

 

 

  

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Box Office Recap: “Spider-Man” on the top of the charts… For the Seventh Time in the past Decade

Yes, you read the title right. For the seventh time in the past decade (well, ten years and two months), a Spider-Man film is on the top of the weekend domestic box office charts. Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” stayed at number one for two weeks in 2002, and its sequels did the same in 2004 and 2007, respectively. Now, here in 2012, director Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” is on top once again after making $65 million this weekend and $140 million over the course of its six-day opening.

“Spider-Man’s” $65 million debut weekend is the fifth largest opening of the year, behind only “The Avengers” ($207 million), “The Hunger Games” ($155 million), “The Lorax” ($70 million), and “Brave” ($66 million). But “Spidey’s” $140 million did allow it to beat out the six-day gross of some other recent comic book reboots, namely “Batman Begins” and “X-Men: First Class,” which made $79.5 million and $69.9 million over their first six days, respectively.

However, perhaps the best way to judge “The Amazing Spider-Man’s” success is to compare it to that of Sam Raimi’s trilogy. The reboot found itself right behind the first “Spider-Man’s” six day total of $144.2 million. However, “Spider-Man 2” grossed $180.1 million and “Spider-Man 3” $176.2 million, meaning the newest film actually made the least of any “Spidey” movie to date. And while “The Amazing Spider-Man” beat out “Batman Begins” in terms of gross, Christopher Nolan’s film had the best six-day start of any Batman film at the time. Of course, “The Dark Knight” later upped the ante.

After breaking “The Hangover’s” record for best debut by an original R-rated comedy (i.e. not counting “The Hangover Part II“) last weekend,  Seth McFarlane’s “Ted,” remained strong, grossing $32.6 million in its second weekend. For comparison’s sake, “The Hangover” made just under $32.8 million in its second weekend, and “Ted’s” ten-day total of $120.2 million bests “The Hangover” over the same period.

In its third weekend, “Brave” remained in third place with $20.162 million. The Pixar flick has now grossed $174.5 million to date, which means it’s all but assured to be the studio’s tenth movie to accumulate $200 million.

Oliver Stone’s “Savages” came in fourth place with $16 million in its opening weekend, which isn’t all that bad considering its competition. Behind it, “Magic Mike,” “Madea’s Witness Protection,” and “Madagascar 3” slid into the fifth, sixth, and seventh spots with $15.6, $10.1, and $7.5 million, respectively.

The weekend’s soft release was “Katy Perry: Part of Me,” which came in eighth place with $7.1 million. In ninth and tenth place we saw a couple strong showings from films teetering on the edge of the “specialty box office” label. Wes Anderson’sMoonrise Kingdom” grossed $4.5 million from 884 theaters, while in its third week Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” added 777 theaters, giving it a total of 806 and making $3.5 million.

Overall, it was a strong weekend at the box office. The nation’s top 12 films grossed $187.1 million, a 28 percent bump from this time last year.

Here are the results for this weekend’s top 10 at the box office:

Title/Weeks in release/Theater count, Studio/Three-day weekend total/Cume

1. The Amazing Spider-Man, 1/4,318, Sony, $65 million, $140 million.
2. Ted, 2/3,256, Universal, $32.593 million, $120.24 million.
3. Brave, 3/3,891, Buena Vista, $20.162 million, $174.519 million.
4. Savages, 1/2,628, Universal, $16.162 million.
5. Magic Mike, 2/3,120, Warner Bros., $15.61 million, $72.797 million.
6. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection, 2/2,161, $10.2 million, $45.846 million.
7. Madagascar 3, 5/2,861, Paramount/Dreamworks, $7.7 million, $196.02 million.
8. Katy Perry: Part of Me, 1/3,730, Paramount, $7.15 million.
9. Moonrise Kingdom, 7/884, Focus, $4.642 million, $26.893 million.
10. To Rome with Love, 3/806, SPC, $3.502 million, $5.621 million.

  

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This Weekend at the Movies: A Second Hangover, Animals Do Battle, and the Palme d’Or Winner

Memorial Day weekend used to mean the start of the summer movie season, but by now we’re already in full swing! Nevertheless, the studios have seen fit to give you two sequels to two massively popular films. And maybe some artsy stuff for the coasts.

The Hangover Part II


And yes, they’re going roman numeral style. This is some classy stuff right here. I saw this on Monday, and while there are a lot of funny moments with the same gang (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis), you will be shocked at how incredibly similar it is to the first. Way beyond the even standard “same premise, different locale” set-up you would expect. It robs it of some of the insanity the first, which I loved, had in spades. Rotten Tomatoes has it at a 32% fresh rating. Nevertheless, it opened to a whopping $10 million on midnight showings alone last night. With a five-day weekend in which to run rampant (Monday’s a holiday!), this is going to do some serious damage at the box office.

Kung-Fu Panda 2


Once known with the much sillier subtitle “The Kaboom of Doom,” this one seems to do what a good sequel should – offer the same delights as the original in a new package. It boasts a 75% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and while some critics fault it for hewing too closely to the original, many were too swept up by its charms to care. Kung Fu Panda became unexpectedly beloved upon its release, and many cite it as one of Dreamworks’ few great films. It’s hard to imagine those fans, and their kids, won’t come to see this in droves.

The Tree of Life


While the latest film from Terrence Malick certainly won’t make the same imprint at the box office as the previously-mentioned films, this is the film event for cinephiles this weekend. That is, if you live in New York or Los Angeles. I have my ticket to the midnight show tonight, and could not possibly be more excited. If you live elsewhere, don’t fret – you’ll be able to see the Palme d’Or winner within the next few weeks, as Fox Searchlight rolls it out across the country. Click here to see when your city is getting it. And although this doesn’t have the mass appeal of your kung-fu pandas or your 30-something frat boys, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of that Cannes buzz fuel it to a respectable hit for Fox Searchlight.

Beyond that, New York gets two art house release – Tuesday, After Christmas, a sparse study of infidelity that received solid reviews when it premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and United Red Army, an epic about a revolutionary group in Japan in the 1970s.

Next week, it’s all about the X-Men back on the screen again, while at least a couple of cities will get one of my favorite movies of the year so far. Stay tuned!

clomid, synthroid, zithromax, accutane, celebrex
  

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Box office preview: Divide and conquer

That’s the studio strategy this week as three major releases with large and divergent natural constituencies hit movie theaters. All three movies are expected to do rather well by the folks whose job it is to guess these things, as evidenced by the small amount of daylight between the predictions showcased this week by the L.A. TimesBen Fritz and THR‘s ever jolly Carl DiOrio.

I don’t think there’s any reason at all to doubt that the family audience, which hasn’t had a new 3D animated comedy in a while to gawk at, will check out “Megamind.” Featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, and Jonah Hill, the film is the second of these comedies this year to focus on a putative villain after “Despicable Me.” This one takes a more superpowered spin with a pretty obvious spoof on the Superman mythos. Reviews are decent but muted, but the take is expected to be a very solid $50 million or so, which is not so muted.

Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Gallifianaki have a The reviews are substantially less positive for “Due Date,” which is to youngish men what “Megamind” is to families. I remember being unimpressed for the trailer for the new comedy from Todd Phillips starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Gallifianakis, but apparently the sheer star power and the tried and true comic premise of a mismatched twosome on a road trip seems to be enough here for the R-rated comedy to get something in the $30-35 million neighborhood. Personally, however, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it under-perform. Star power just isn’t what it used to be these days and this is clearly not a second coming of Phillips’ “The Hangover.”

With a cast that includes Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg and the Oprah herself, “For Colored Girls” is pretty clearly for African-American women as far as studio marketers are concerned. Based on the acclaimed  poetry-based play of the 1970s by Ntozake Shange (full title: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf), the movie is not getting much acclaim from critics, who once again are none too fond of Perry’s penchant for melodrama, though many do seem to be given Perry credit for at least trying something different this time around. On the one hand, Tyler Perry’s fans are clearly unconcerned about critics, on the other, this is a very different kind of material than Perry’s usual. An amount of $20 million is being bandied about. In any case, one has to wonder what feminist author Shange makes of this excerpt from Carl DiOrio’s piece:

“In addition to Tyler’s core audience, we’re going after fans who are familiar with the play,” Lionsgate distribution topper David Spitz said. “We feel this could be the Sex and the City for African-American women.”

With Oscar season upon us, a number of notable films are coming up in limited release, including the Valerie Plame spy scandal film “Fair Game,” the fainting-inducing mountain climbing ordeal picture, “127 Hours,” and the Elliot Spitzer ordeal documentary, “Client Nine.” Notable for being both good and probably not having a chance in hell at an Oscar, however, is “Red Hill” which I’m not mentioning here not just because we were granted interviews with the director and star, though that never hurts, I admit shamefacedly.

Ryan Kwanten and Steve Bisley in

  

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So I guess Jamie Foxx is playing the strong and silent type.

Another day, another trailer.

Via THR, this one is from Warner Brothers and Todd Phillips, who directed “The Hangover,” and stars Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis and is called “Due Date.” Don’t get your hopes too high.

So, am I missing something was that all just a big ball of not-humorous? Obviously, “Due Date” is going for a bit of pathos along with the road trip a la “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” but, if you’re trying to be funny, it’s awfully important that people laugh. I didn’t even smile. The movie could still be good — one of the flattest comedy trailers I ever saw was for the actually really funny 1996 comedy “The Impostors” with Stanley Tucci, who also directed, and Oliver Platt. Of course, that flick didn’t do very well. A better trailer wouldn’t have hurt.

  

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