After a down weekend, things picked up at the box office this week as one of the most reliable studios at the box office, Disney's Pixar Animation, released their 13th feature-length animated film Brave, featuring the voices of Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Robbie Coltrane and Kevin McKidd. It followed suit with Disney•Pixar's previous 12 movies, opening in first place with an estimated $66.7 million in 4,164 theaters. It's Pixar Animation's fourth biggest non-sequel opening after Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Up, putting it just ahead of last year's Cars 2. Brave made an additional $13.5 million overseas in 10 territories, representing roughly 17% of the film's international release.
DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Paramount) dropped to second place after two weeks at #1, bringing in $20.2 million to take its three week total to $157.5 million. It's 8 million away from surpassing both of DreamWorks Animation's 2011 movies, but still has a ways to go before surpassing its predecessor's $180 million domestic take.
Maybe the idea of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter from filmmakers Timur Bekmambetov and Tim Burton looked good on paper to someone at 20th Century Fox--more than likely someone now working back in the mailroom after having used that "greenlight" stamp a bit too freely--but the historic action-thriller based on the novel by Seth Graham-Smith and starring Benjamin Walker, Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, joined last week's disasters with a weak third place opening of just $16.5 million in 3,106 theaters.
Ridley Scott's sci-fi prequel Prometheus (20th Century Fox) took fourth place with $10 million bringing its total domestic gross to $108.5 million, while the hit fantasy adventure Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal), starring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart made $8 million in its fourth weekend in theaters, bringing its domestic gross to $137 million. Snow White brought in another $22.6 million internationally this weekend to bring its global total to $297.4 million while Prometheus added another $12.6 million to bring its worldwide total to $261.4 million.
They were followed in succession by last week's bombs, Adam Shankman's musical Rock of Ages (New Line/WB) with $8 million and Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg's comedy That's My Boy (Sony) with $7.8 million, both movies having made between $28 and 29 million after ten days.
The biggest blockbuster hit of 2012, Marvel's The Avengers (Disney), took in another $7 million for eighth place with a terrific hold so it was only down 21% from last weekend. With $598 million grossed in the past two months, the movie's a mere day or two away from crossing the $600 million mark, only the third movie domestically to do that.
Will Smith's hit comedy Men in Black 3 (Sony) took ninth place with $5.6 million and $163.3 million total domestically, while adding another $10.5 million internationally to bring its global total to $414 million.
Maybe Lorene Scafaria's idea for an apocalyptic romantic comedy called Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Focus Features) and starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley looked good to someone on paper... oh, wait. We already used that joke. It also didn't do very well, barely getting into the Top 10 with $3.8 million in 1,618 theaters. By comparison, Focus Features' other release, Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) brought in $3.4 million in just 395 theaters for 11th place with $11.7 million total gross. Next weekend, it expands nationwide and should be back in the Top 10.
This week's Top 10 grossed an estimated $144.3 million, which is still down from last year by roughly 11%. Even though Brave opened higher than last year's Cars 2, last year also had the benefit of Cameron Diaz's Bad Teacher taking second place with $31.6 million.
In limited release, Woody Allen's comedy anthology To Rome with Love (Sony Pictures Classics), his follow-up to the Oscar-winning Midnight in Paris, this one starring Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Roberto Benigni, Greta Gerwig and Allen himself, brought in a phenomenal $379 thousand in just five theaters in New York and Los Angeles, averaging over $75 thousand per venue. That's slightly lower than Midnight in Paris' performance which averaged $90 thousand when it opened in six theaters.