Does anyone remember how dire things seemed for the Walt Disney Company just a few months ago? The studio took a huge loss with March's "John Carter," which lead to the ouster of Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross. Boy have things turned around. "The Avengers" has pretty much wiped the competition on the floor with a jaw-dropping $1.4 billion worldwide. Friday, Disney received another gift as Pixar's "Brave" debuted to a stellar $24.5 million.
The positively-reviewed animated adventure opened on a gigantic 4,164 screens and over 2,700 are them are screening it in 3D which means higher ticket prices. Still, a possible $70 million weekend is significantly higher than pre-release polling which expected a figure in the low 60's. If it can hit the $70 million mark, it will be Pixar's biggest non-"Toy Story" debut since 2009's "Up" which grossed $68.1 million over its opening weekend. "Brave" is poised to have a strong run with "Ice Age: Continental Drift" not debuting until July 13.
Opening under expectations was 20th Century Fox's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." The adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's best selling novel was expected to gross somewhere between $20-22 million over the three-day. Instead, the Timur Bekmambetov directed recon thriller found only $6.3 million on Friday for what could be a $15-17 million at best. The film, which speculates that the former President spent his free time battling Confederate Vampires, was a hard sell for Fox. The studio took the scenario as seriously as possible in its marketing and execution, but by doing so it may have limited the audience for the genre mash-up.
Dropping to third place and holding somewhat well against the new family film competition is "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted." The DreamWorks Animation threequel earned another $6.1 million on Friday for $143.4 million in less than three weeks.
Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" finally crossed the $100 million barrier after picking up another $2.9 million on Friday, bringing its total to $101.4 million.
The Tom Cruise rock musical "Rock of Ages" continued to struggle, coming in fifth place with $2.3 million. The Adam Shankman-directed film has so far earned just $23.2 million.
Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
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
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
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