Box Office: Madagascar 3 stronger than Sandler and Cruise

In a usually busy month like June we expect to have a new film at #1 every weekend, unfortunately with both Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy severely under-performing, the box office crown defaulted to Madagascar 3 while Prometheus took 2nd again.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted secured 1st place thanks to $34 million, down 43.5%, right between Madagascar‘s 40.5% and Madagascar 2‘s 44.5% 2nd weekend drops. With $119 million after 10 days, Madagascar 3 is ahead of both its predecessors ($100.3 million for the original and $118 million for the sequel) at the same point in their runs. Depending on how big of a bite Pixar’s Brave takes out of Madagascar 3 next weekend; the animation might be looking at a final tally somewhere around $180-200 million. These talking animals could eventually join the ranks of past animated flicks that managed to out-gross their predecessors with a 3rd entry (Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs and Toy Story 3).

Prometheus on the other hand already surpassed its predecessors, but only because some of those films (the best actually) came out a very long time ago. With $20.7 million in its 2nd weekend, Prometheus has made $89.3 million after 10 days in theaters, that’s more than the $85.1 million total generated by Aliens almost 26 years ago. That being said, Prometheus can’t hold a candle to Alien or Aliens in terms of attendance (and unfortunately overall quality). This spin-off/prequel will be looking at maybe $120 million or more in North America, not a bad total by any stretch for a sci-fi horror, a niche genre historically.

Rock of Ages opened in 3rd with $14.4 million, missing its mark badly. Actually in the last 20 years we’ve only had two films starring Tom Cruise that made less on their debut, one was a political drama with terrible reviews that no one wanted to see (Lion for Lambs, $6.7 million in 2007), the other a period drama that would be higher if adjusted for inflation (Far and Away, $10.1 million in 1992, $19.4 million adjusted). Coming off Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol ($693 million worldwide) just 7 months ago and into this, it must hurt. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame Tom Cruise for this film bombing since no actor in the world can guarantee a film’s success anymore.

Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy was 4th with $13.4 million on its opening weekend, wow. Now Rock of Ages was a musical based on a Broadway show about 80’s rock, so while appealing to some people, it’s not exactly mainstream, so failing at the box office was a possible scenario from the start. Now That’s My Boy is an Adam Sandler comedy and when it comes to that genre, he is as close to a safety net as Hollywood can get right now. So how did That’s My Boy get the worst Adam Sandler non-dramatic opening since Bulletproof ($6 million) back in 1996? Easy, he left his comfort zone. When you establish yourself as the family-comedy go-to guy, making a film that cuts into your usual demographic is just box office suicide. You know what they say, some you win, some you lose, and this one Adam Sandler lost, badly. It’s time to open the champagne cause in a year from now you’ll cry (Grown Ups 2).

Snow White and the Huntsman rounds out the top 5 with $13.2 million, down 42.5%. So far this has made $122 million.