With much of the U.S. going through one of the hottest summers on record, audiences were craving another "Ice Age

Fox's animated sequel "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is off to a great start, racking up a cool $16.5 million at the domestic box office on Friday. That will likely put the film -- featuring the voices of Ray Romano, Denis Leary and others -- in the $45 million range for the weekend.

That will put it on par with the first "Ice Age," which opened to $46.3 million in 2002 (without the benefit of 3D ticket prices). 2006's "Ice Age: The Meltdown" opened to a stellar $68 million, while 2009's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" opened to the more-in-line $41 million. 

Meanwhile, "Amazing Spider-Man" dropped to No. 2 with another $10.3 million. The Sony reboot has so far earned an impressive $176 million. Its big box office days are numbered, however, as WB's mega sequel "The Dark Knight Rises" opens next Friday. While "Amazing" will certainly pass the $200 million mark at home, it likely won't earn as much as the previous "Spider-Man" pictures. 

Seth McFarlane's raunchy comedy "Ted" continues to impress, earning another $6.9 million, for a domestic total of $143.7 million. 

This summer's other surprise hit, Channing Tatum's "Magic Mike," likewise continues it success story, scoring another $3.4 million. The Steven Soderbergh-directed male stripper drama has made a hunky $86.2 million so far. 

Disney's animated hit "Brave" rounds out the top five, adding $3.2 million to its domestic gross of $188.1 million. 

Look for complete weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.

Dave Lewis has been a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer and editor for nearly ten years. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, he moved to L.A. in 1996 to attend USC, before working for various periodicals and web sites including a lengthy stint at Variety.com. He joined the HitFix staff in 2011.