It was safe to assume that "Madagascar 3" would win the weekend and it would be in the $30MM-$35MM range. That part was easy. The part that apparently wasn't was picking EVERY OTHER MOVIE.
I'm not sure if it was due to the lack of quality this weekend, but the overall weekend totals were the lowest they've been since April. Because of that, projections were high across the board, and really nothing else performed as expected. I get a bit of satisfaction out of the fact that "That's My Boy" didn't even trump "Snow White and the Huntsman" in its third weekend, but I also wish that films like "Prometheus" and "Rock of Ages" would have done a little better than they did.
So we start with "Madagascar 3". Both with totals and position, this was the film that almost everyone could have predicted this weekend. It had an incredibly strong opening last weekend, and big animated family films all have similar holds. It only dropped 41% this weekend for a total gross of $35.5MM. Its reviews have been strong, so a low-40% drop this weekend seemed expected. Neither of the new releases this weekend ever seemed strong enough to provide competition in this bracket, so it was almost assured of this position. This bring's the film's domestic totals up to $120MM, just $25 less than its entire production budget. It hasn't been quite as strong overseas as the previous two installments, but that being said, it has already accumulated over $150MM. That makes for a total gross of just just over $275MM so far, and means this film is already well into the black. It seems safe to assume that if plans for another sequel weren't already in development before this film's release, they will be now.
On one hand, I'm really glad that "Prometheus" finished in second place this weekend. It proved stronger in its second weekend than two different new releases. But on the other, it only grossed an estimated $20.2MM this week, which is about $5MM-$7MM less than I expected. With similar drops to "Madagascar 3", it would have put it in the $28MM range. I didn't expect this polarizing film to hold on quite that well, but I would have thought that it could hold better than the 60% it did. The film has already received a lot of backlash from the fanboy community though. While receiving strong overall reviews in the critical community, a lot of what I've heard personally is people upset that this wasn't Alien. No one's doubting the flaws, but I hate when films like this get criticized for their flaws more than praised for their successes. I'll hear less hatred for a film like "That's My Boy" in my entire life than I've heard on "Prometheus" in any given day since its release. We discussed the film at length here. There are a lot of great aspects to the film, and I wish a bigger percentage of the movie-going community was giving this a chance.
The film is up to $88MM domestically, and $217MM worldwide, so at least the film has surpassed its projected budget. Even though there's been backlash, I think the movie has made enough money that if Ridley Scott really decides he wants to make a sequel there won't be any hold-ups on the studio end.
As far as the new releases go, "Rock of Ages" marginally out-grossed the Adam Sandler comedy, "That's My Boy". I went and saw "Rock of Ages" on Friday (review here), and was pleasantly surprised with what it had to offer. As I go over in the review, the real treat was Tom Cruise's performance as the aging rock icon, Stacee Jaxx. The movie was entertaining, and was a fun take on the music from that era. I figured this would be the highest grossing film between the two new releases, I just didn't expect that it would only make $15MM. The Warner Bros. film had an estimated budget of $75MM, and for a film that probably won't play to well overseas (just over $4MM this weekend), this surely isn't the start the film expected. The film has received mediocre reviews so far - 42% on Rotten Tomatoes - and overall, it just didn't come together like it could have. I don't have many problems with a 42% right now, that doesn't seem much lower than where it should be. It has obvious flaws, but it also has more to appreciate than you might expect.
"That's My Boy" has seemingly much less to offer, though I haven't seen the film. Even the 23% it currently has on Rotten Tomatoes seems higher than I would have expected. No surprise though, many critics are simply saying at least it was better than "Jack and Jill". Seriously though, it looks like I'm seeing the same wording with just about everyone - it's vulgar and offensive and doesn't have the same Sandler heart that we want to see in his comedies. The film made $13MM this weekend, which even with as bad as I thought this movie looked, was less than I expected it would make. Sandler has appeared in plenty of films that have opening weekend grosses less than this amount, but it seems notable that among movies in which he's starred in and that have opened in 3,000 theaters or more, this is the lowest by a pretty wide margin. Next on that list is "Funny People", which opened with $22.6MM. Believe it or not, even "Jack and Jill" opened with $25MM. I expected this movie would put up totals similar to what those previous two did, but apparently audiences have had just about enough of what Sandler's been offering up recently.
Other than the fact that the newest films this weekend under-performed across the board, what seems most surprising were a few of the slightly older films. First, "Snow White and the Huntsman" did pretty well in its third weekend. While these are still just projections, right now, it appears that more audiences showed up for the third weekend of this film than they did for the first weekend of Sandler's. Snow White managed only a 40% drop this weekend, to a total of $13.8MM. Its domestic totals are now at $122MM, and overseas its compiled a similar number with $124MM, bringing its worldwide totals to just under $250MM. The studio announced after the film's first weekend that they're working on a sequel, and with these strong numbers, its easy to see why.
Even more surprisingly, the films in the sixth and seventh spots, "Men in Black 3" and "The Avengers", experienced amazing drops, and put up numbers that, while not incredibly high, were still much stronger than probably expected. MIB3 dropped only 28% for an even $10MM this weekend. It's surpassed the $150MM mark domestically now, and worldwide has made almost $550, doubling its $225MM budget. "The Avengers" did it one better, however, and only dropped 21% this weekend. It only amounted to an $8.8MM gross, but for a film in its seventh weekend, that's not too bad at all. If you can believe it, that total is only good for thirteenth place among total grosses in a film's seventh weekend though ("Avatar" leads the list with $31MM - an amount I can't even fathom for a film nearly two months in). The film's worldwide gross is now at $1.419BB, which still has it in third on both domestic and worldwide lists.
Otherwise, "Moonrise Kingdom" put up strong per theater totals, though it's only rolled out in a couple hundred theaters so far. Still, its totals per theater far surpassed anything else that's out right now.
Check out everything else in the Top 15 below, courtesy of Box Office Mojo: