Box Office: 'The Lorax' does Dr. Seuss proud with massive $70.7 million opening
It's official, DreamWorks Animation, Fox's Blue Sky and Disney's Pixar have a major new competitor on the CG animation block: Ilumination Entertainment. The Universal Studios division has now produced two major blockbusters with 2010's "Despicable Me" and this weekend's "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax."
Surpassing all expectations, "The Lorax" grossed $70.7 million over the three-day frame. That's makes it the biggest opening of 2012 and the 8th biggest ever for Universal. With the the young-girl skewing "Mirror, Mirror" being the only family competition on the horizon, "Lorax" could easily come close to the $200 million mark. The film is also the third major hit for Universal this year after "Contraband" and "Safe House." A welcome change in fortune for the studio after two years of tough love with moviegoers.
A somewhat remarkable debut in 2nd place was "Project X." With absolutely no stars or recognizable names, Warner Bros. was able to sell the rowdy party comedy with a strange title to the under 25 demo and hit $20.7 million for the weekend. If not for "Lorax's" monster debut it would be the talk of the town and is a rare strategic win for WB.
Dropping to third is Relativity's "Act of Valor" with another $13.7 million and $45.2 million to date. The action flick featuring real Navy SEALS should end up somewhere close to $70 million when all is said and done.
"Safe House" took the fourth slot with another $7.2 million and $108.2 million so far. It's going to be close, but "House" should just miss surpassing "American Gangster's" $130 million as Denzel Washington's biggest hit to date.
Tyler Perry's "Good Deeds" rounded out the top five with another $7 million and $25.7 million in 10 days. Despite the disappointing cume It should avoid becoming Perry's lowest grossing film yet. That title still belongs to 2007's "Daddy's Little Girls" which made just $31 million in 2007.
Oscar winning best picture "The Artist" expanded to 1,756 theaters and jumped to $3.9 million for the weekend. The Weinstein Company release has now made $37 million to date and should end up with close to $45 million before it ends its long theatrical run.
Next weekend's new releases include "John Carter," "A Thousand Words," "Friends with Kids" and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen."
Box office actuals are released on Monday.
1952 | Western | PGSummary: Compact and incredibly suspenseful western about a retiring marshall who finds himself standing alone to defend his town against a gang riding in on the noon train.Director: Fred Zinneman
Cast: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Two workmates at a brewery, both in other relationships, find themselves dealing with increasingly tangled romantic lives after the two couples spend a weekend together in this canny and sharply funny comedy.Director: Joe Swanberg
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
1998 | Animation | GSummary: A tomboyish girl disguises herself as a young man so she can fight with the Imperial Chinese Army against the invading Huns. With help from wise-cracking dragon Mushu, Mulan just might save her country -- and win the heart of handsome Captain Li Shang.Director: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook
Cast: Ming-Na Wen, Lea Salonga, June Foray, Soon-Tek Oh
1999 | Comedy | NRSummary: Created by a marine biologist, this wacky animated series follows the residents of underwater city Bikini Bottom, among whom are the nerdy and optimistic SpongeBob, his pet snail Gary, the starfish Patrick and the arrogant octopus Squidward Tentacles.Director: Stephen Hillenburg, Tim Hill, Derek Drymon, Nick Jennings (creators)
Cast: Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke
1996 | Drama | RSummary: Renton is living the dream and that dream is Heroin. As Renton struggles with the agony and ecstasy of his life we follow him and his increasingly unstable mates. Drinking, fighting, drugs, sex and the most disgusting toilet in Scotland. Choose Trainspotting.Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1994 | Drama | PGSummary: With their father away as a chaplain in the Civil War, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy grow up with their mother in somewhat reduced circumstances. They are a close family who inevitably have their squabbles and tragedies. But the bond holds even when, later, male friends start to become a part of the hous...Director: Gillian Armstrong
Cast: Winona Ryder, Gabriel Byrne, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Mathis
1950 | Drama | NRSummary: A small-time screenwriter is drawn into the life of a fading silent film goddess like a fly in a spider's web. Murder and madness await within her gloomy old Hollywood home.Director: Billy Wilder
Cast: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim
2014 | Thriller | RSummary: This twisted and evilly funny thriller tears apart both marriage and the media as a man (Ben Affleck) becomes a prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, played to perfection by Rosamund Pike.Director: David Fincher
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens
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