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Box office report: 'Madagascar 3' roars with $60.4 million debut, holding 'Prometheus' at No. 2

Six weeks ago, The Avengers entered theaters and blew everyone’s expectations out of the water with its record-breaking $207.4 million debut.

In the weeks that followed, though, the box office fell into a bit of a slump. Expensive tentpoles like Battleship and Dark Shadows outright bombed, while major studio fare like What to Expect When You’re Expecting and The Dictator underperformed, and even Men In Black 3‘s number one opening felt weak given its predecessors’ strength.

Last weekend, Snow White and the Hunstman exceeded industry expectations, giving Hollywood hope that summer 2012 might live up to the hype that The Avengers had suggested. This weekend, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and and Prometheus continued to ease any fears that the box office was in trouble with robust debuts in first and second place, respectively. These hefty starts helped the Top 10 films gross $169.6 million, up a whopping 30 percent over the same weekend in 2011, when Super 8 topped the chart. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Prometheus' leads Friday with $21.4 million, but 'Madagascar 3' will win weekend

The box office continued its major recovery on Friday following weeks of disappointing returns, as Prometheus and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted  both opened forcefully, building on Snow White and the Huntsman‘s success last weekend.

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus topped the box office on Friday following strong midnight showings with an impressive $21.4 million haul. The $130 million R-rated picture is headed for a weekend gross of about $56 million, but surprisingly, that won’t be enough to earn first place for the weekend. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Prometheus' and 'Madagascar 3' duke it out


Charlize Theron, you’re about to get knocked out of the top spot…by yourself. The Oscar-winning actress, who stars in last weekend’s chart topper Snow White and the Huntsman, has another blockbuster hitting theaters this weekend: the Ridley Scott-directed sci-fi epic Prometheus.

Anticipation is high for the film, but it will face stiff competition from fellow newcomer Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which will give families their first viable moviegoing option in a while.

The two films should lead the box office to its strongest results in weeks. Here’s how the Top 5 might shake out:

1. Prometheus — $56 million

Fox has been cagey about linking Ridley Scott’s $130 million sci-fi thriller to his original Alien film, which grossed $79 million in its original run in 1979, but buzz has built among cinephile fanboys nonetheless. Prometheus has the potential to become this year’s Inception — a thinky, effects-heavy thriller that catches on with mainstream audiences. Inception grossed $62 million in its opening weekend in July 2010, but Prometheus might start a little softer — even with 3-D ticket prices. Without a major star like Leonardo DiCaprio, some casual moviegoers (especially female ones) will not rush to the theater, and the film’s R rating may keep younger patrons at bay. Men will almost certainly make up the predominant audience — and enough of them should show up to put Prometheus in first place. If the film garners strong word-of-mouth, it could become a runaway smash. This weekend, though, it may find about $56 million.

2. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted — $48 million

The original Madagascar earned $193.6 million in 2005. Its sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa earned $180 million in 2008 — but it finished with $603 million worldwide. For DreamWorks, it was a no-brainer to greenlight a third installment, and although it may not reach the heights of its predecessors domestically, strong international sales are all but guaranteed. The $145 million 3-D picture is the first animated family option since The Lorax debuted 14 weeks ago (I’m not counting The Pirates! Band of Misfits, which hit theaters in late April), and entertainment-starved kiddies will fill seats. Still, animated sequels like Kung Fu Panda 2 have seen diminishing returns in recent years. (That picture only opened to $47.7 million vs. the original Kung Fu Panda‘s $60.2 million debut haul.) Thus, I’m thinking a $48 million weekend is probably in store. Of course, it could surprise and top the chart as well!

3. Snow White and the Huntsman — $26 million

Kristen Stewart and company may dip by about 55 percent in the face of competition, which would give the film, which received a “B” CinemaScore grade, $100 million after ten days.

4. Men In Black 3 — $13 million

The action-comedy is losing 3-D screens to both Madagascar and Prometheus, and the zoo-themed animation will cut into family business. Thus a 55 percent drop seems likely.

5. The Avengers — $12 million

The superhero ensemble has been notching strong holds sine its debut. Another 45 percent drop would put it at about $11-12 million for the three-day frame.

Stay tuned to EW for full box office coverage this weekend, and follow me on twitter for breaking, up-to-the-minute box office updates.

More on
Prometheus — EW Review
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted — EW Review

New 'Iron Man 3' behind-the-scenes photo: A look back at history, or a looming threat?

The first official image released from Iron Man 3 reveals that Tony Stark is just like any other guy who has a lot of unused tech lying around.

But instead of having an old Xbox, a PlayStation 1 and 2, and a bookbag full of old cell phones stashed in his closet, he keeps his old hardware on display, as the full photo shows us in detail. We don’t get a good look at Robert Downey Jr.’s character, who is obscured by a crew member’s clapboard, but we get a solid look at the ego of Iron Man’s alter ego.

Of course, Tony Stark would transform his lair into a mini-museum to himself. But is there a hidden danger hinted at in this photo?


Box office report: 'Men in Black 3' tops Memorial Day weekend with $70M; 'Moonrise Kingdom' huge in limited release

Will Smith returned to theaters for the first time since 2008’s Seven Pounds with this weekend’s Men in Black 3, which put the A-list celeb back on top of the box office. Sony’s $230 million (some reports suggest a much higher budget) alien-zapping sequel earned an estimated $70 million over the extended Memorial Day weekend.

Men in Black 3 will easily become Smith’s thirteenth film to earn over $100 million at the box office — a truly impressive feat — but its opening weekend actually leaves much to be desired. Over the three-day portion of the weekend, MIB 3 grossed $55 million, which was higher than the debuts of Men in Black ($51.1 million) and Men in Black II ($52.1 million). (Due to higher ticket prices, 3-D surcharges, and IMAX fees, though, it sold far fewer tickets than its predecessors.) The original Men in Black earned $250.7 million in 1997. Men in Black II scored $190.4 million in 2002. Adjusting for ticket-price inflation, those totals soar to $432.6 million and $259.6 million, respectively. In today’s frontloaded box office culture, Men in Black 3 won’t likely reach those heights. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Men In Black 3' tops weekend with $55 million; 'Avengers' passes $500 million

Sony’s $230 million alien-zapping sequel Men In Black 3 topped the box office over the three-day weekend frame with an estimated $55 million.

Although the Will Smith action-comedy didn’t exactly trip out of the gate, Men In Black 3‘s start is troubling considering its gigantic budget and supposed built-in audience. Fortunately, as is so often the case these days, international results proved stronger. Sony says the film has taken in $132 million overseas in its initial week of release.

Marvel’s The Avengers held strong in second place with $37 million — a 34 percent drop from last weekend. The superhero ensemble crossed the $500 million mark on Saturday, its 23rd day of release, effectively smashing the record previously held by Avatar, which took 32 days to reach the same milestone. It’s earned $513.7 million total. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Men in Black 3' earns $18 million on Friday; 'Avengers' holds strong

After 10 years away from the big screen, the alien-hunting Men In Black (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and now, Josh Brolin) are back on top of the box office.

Men In Black 3 ended The Avengers‘ 21-day reign in first place with an $18 million Friday, which puts the $230 million action-comedy on track for a four-day weekend take of $72 million. Sure, that number sounds strong, but don’t be deceived — the sequel cost an egregious amount of money and should have had a bigger built-in audience than this. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Men in Black 3' set to invade theaters, finally dethrone 'The Avengers'

Will Smith is back!

After three years away from the big screen, the bankable star of blockbusters like I Am Legend, Independence Day, and Hancock has returned with Men In Black 3, a 10-years-later sequel in the lighthearted alien franchise.

The original Men In Black earned $250.7 million in 1997, and in 2002, Men In Black II found $190.4 million. Now, MIB 3 is poised to bring in another boatload of money — finally unseating The Avengers from the box office throne.

Also entering theaters is horror flick The Chernobyl Diaries, which won’t make nearly as much as MIB 3 (but didn’t cost nearly as much, either).

Check out my weekend box office predictions — which are for the regular three-day weekend, rather than the extended Memorial Day holiday frame — below: READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Avengers' crushes 'Battleship' and 'The Dictator' with $55.1 mil

Once again, it was all about The Avengers at the box office, as three new releases failed to even approach the Marvel superhero blockbuster’s third-weekend gross of $55.1 million, according to studio estimates.

The movie dropped 47 percent — an admirable hold for a picture that’s putting up such huge numbers. By the end of Sunday, The Avengers will have made an estimated $457.1 million domestically, passing $450 million in a record 17 days. (The previous record holder, The Dark Knight, reached that milestone in 27 days.) Meanwhile, The Avengers also passed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest to become Disney’s biggest movie ever both domestically and worldwide. It now sits in fourth place on the all-time worldwide chart, behind only Avatar, Titanic, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.

The Avengers‘ continued dominance meant fewer moviegoers for Battleship, which sunk on arrival with only $25.3 million. That’s the worst domestic opening ever for a movie with a reported budget of at least $200 million. (Universal spent $209 million on the PG-13 picture.) It’s also a smaller debut than this year’s other notorious flop, John Carter, which started out with $30.2 million. To the dismay of Tim Riggins fans everywhere, Taylor Kitsch has now starred in two of the year’s biggest bombs. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'The Avengers' wins again with $15.3 mil on Friday; 'Battleship' flounders with $9 mil

Three new movies confronted The Avengers this weekend, and the Hulk smashed them around as if they all starred Loki.

The Marvel superhero phenomenon dropped a mild 48 percent for $15.3 million on Friday. That means it’ll easily win its third weekend in a row with around $55 million, bringing its domestic tally to $457 million or thereabouts. It should pass $450 million on Sunday, becoming the fastest movie to do so in only 17 days. (The Dark Knight pulled off the same feat in 27 days.) Also, The Avengers will pass Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest today to become Disney’s highest-grossing film ever.

The Avengers‘ good news spelled bad news for Battleship, which debuted to a dismal $9 million on Friday. That puts the board game-inspired action film on pace for a $26 million weekend — a result that Universal clearly didn’t have in mind when it green-lighted the $209 million picture. By comparison, the year’s other big expensive flop, Disney’s John Carter, mustered a slightly better $30.2 million its first weekend. Both movies starred Taylor Kitsch, whose young career is getting off to an incredibly unfortunate start. READ FULL STORY

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