Box Office Report: "Brave" is Strong in Opening Weekend

I just want to start by stating that these were the best box office predictions I've made since I've started doing these (you do anything for long enough and you're bound to get lucky eventually, right?). We'll have to wait for the official numbers tomorrow, but if "Snow White and the Huntsman" can pull together just a few more bucks I will have hit it right on the head, pretty much with amounts expected. Now, maybe this weekend's numbers were easy to predict and there wasn't much too surprising, so I won't spend too much more time basking in my glory. We can actually get to the numbers, where Disney Pixar's "Brave" easily topped the box office office. While the film didn't open with the best of the best from Pixar's filmography, it still managed solid June numbers.

"Madagascar 3" was able to hold off "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" for the number two spot this weekend, while "Prometheus" comfortably settled in after that.

A lot of mess afterwards though, and even a couple of films that hit some nice milestones this weekend.

So we start with the Pixar film, "Brave". Its opening total this weekend was an estimated $66.7MM. Those are strong number, for sure, but not the best we've ever seen from the production company. While this is the thirteenth-straight Pixar film to debut in the number one spot, it's only the fifth highest opening weekend total amongst the other films which have been released by the studio. Fifth out of thirteen seems pretty good, but when you consider that its totals were right in line with "Cars 2", Pixar's only real failure to-date, it takes a little bit of steam out it. Still though, this is the fourth highest opening weekend in June of all-time ("Toy Story 3" tops the list).

On Thursday I said that the 78% that the film was sitting at on Rotten Tomatoes at the time would probably go up a little bit as more people saw the film this weekend. While it wasn't a drastic change, I was wrong about that - the film actually dropped four percent to 74%. Like I said on Thursday, these ratings are pretty good and most films would be happy to be in these ranges. But when you're Pixar, and 10 of your 13 films have rated at 95% or higher, twenty points lower than that seems like a big drop. Again, as I stated the other day, I think this is more critical criticism than any casual fans will have with it. If no one else, our own Andy Schopp did see the movie and will be getting a review for the film up shortly. He enjoyed it though.

The film has an estimated production budget of $185MM, so it still has a little ways to go before it gets to that number. I don't think it will be a problem though, as next weekend offers no direct competition and should be able to take the top spot again. It just started its limited overseas roll-out, so it's only pulled in about $13MM in that area, but those numbers should skyrocket as the film expands (since 2005, Pixar films have average nearly $350MM just in their international runs); I don't expect this one will be a whole lot different.

Next on the list this weekend is "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted". This is the film's third weekend (it took the top spot in the previous two). It put together $20.2MM over the three days, which was a 40% drop from last weekends numbers. The film held a little better than expected, assuming there was another animated feature on the docket this weekend, but still nothing out of the norm. The film has now made just over $365MM worldwide, and just this weekend crossed the $150MM mark domestically and the $200MM mark internationally. Domestically speaking, as for as the Madagascar series goes, this film is still the lowest grossing of the three. Obviously this still has time to rake in money while the other two are set where they are. Neither of the previous two films surpassed the $200MM mark, and I do expect that this one should approach that.

Coming in third this weekend was another new release, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". I was really excited for this one early on (without ever reading the source material), but the more footage we saw on this, the less I cared about what it had to offer. I ended up passing on this one this weekend, but Ben did check it out and put together this review for the film. Looks like the action and visuals were great, but the overall story didn't quite find its groove. The film made $16.5MM this weekend, which seems to be on the low end of what was expected from the film. We all knew this was going to have a very niche audience though, so those numbers aren't terrible, especially when you consider that it's currently sitting at a lowly 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. If you take out the four Twilight movies, Lincoln holds the eleventh-highest opening among other vampire films. I don't expect this one will hold on for very long, and will probably experience higher week-to-week drops than most other films in the top 10. It only has a budget of $69MM though, so this one should be okay, even if never amazing.

Fourth place was held by "Prometheus", like "Madagascar 3", also in its third weekend. The film had a 51% drop this weekend, which was to be expected from this film that's been very polarizing amongst fans and critics alike. The film holds a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, which, if you've read what other people are saying about it, it seems incredible to think it sits this high. The $10MM this weekend kicked it over the $100MM mark domestically, which is a nice feat for the film. It still holds a budget of $130MM, but since it's already made over $150MM internationally, it's looking good. It should continue to make steady amounts for the next couple of weeks, but domestically I don't think it will ever reach the $130MM mark.

As an interesting look into how drastic inflation can be over the years, on the surface we can say that after this weekend's totals, "Prometheus" is now the highest-grossing film among all in the Alien franchise. But, on that same page, if you look below with all films adjusted for inflation, we can see that it only sits at third on the list - and by a wide margin.

In the fifth spot, still only with the weekend projections, we had a tie. "Rock of Ages" and "Snow White and the Huntsman" both have projections of $8MM for the weekend. Surely this will change by tomorrow afternoon and one film will prove slightly stronger than the other, but right now, they're tied. I expected that Snow White would claim this spot, so I'm hoping for a stronger-than-expected Sunday push for the film. This is Snow White's fourth weekend, while only the second for "Rock of Ages", so the overall numbers are much different for the films. "Rock of Ages" continues to look very weak - even though I saw the film and think there's more to offer here than you might expect - and has only amassed $28MM in its short run. The budget is only at $75MM, but it's only claimed $4MM internationally. The film experienced a 45% drop this weekend, which is average, but it it was just instantly pushed to the back burner with everything else around.

"Snow White and the Huntsman", however, in its fourth weekend, only experienced a 39% drop. The $8MM brings its domestic totals to just over $135MM, and paired with its international gross has a worldwide total of $261MM. It has a budget of $170MM, so it's made about $100MM in profit. Scrolling though some of its stats, it doesn't look like it's done anything amazing along the way, but it's put together solid totals in its four weeks.

Outside of the top five (six)"The Avengers" continues to hold well - an amazing drop of only 20% this weekend - and has brought its domestic totals ups to $598MM. It's too bad that the film just missed hitting the $600MM mark this weekend, but it should do it with ease on Monday or Tuesday. Now, it's nowhere near "Titanic" on the All-Time Worldwide list, but it does put the film within $50MM of the film on the All-Time Domestic list. I'm not sure it'll ever get there, but it's gotten quite a bit closer than I expected. I didn't even think we'd ever really need to talk about the possibility of it hitting such marks, so that fact that we are is almost as impressive as actually getting there. Does the film have another $50MM in it? We'll have to see.

"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" was the third new release this weekend and opened in the 10th spot. This isn't anything surprising, as I assumed this film would struggle to find an audience amongst the other big-hitting summer releases. It managed $3.8MM, which is a little better than it looks, assuming its lower theater totals (it made the same amount per theater as "Rock of Ages" did this weekend). This little drama only had a $10MM budget, so there aren't any worries with anything this puts together - it'll hit $10MM with ease.

Anyway, for the rest of the Top 15, check the graphic below, courtesy of Box Office Mojo: