The tiny orange peanut shaped hero called The Lorax proved to be a real monster at the box office, surpassing even the wildest expectations and providing the 3rd highest opening ever for the month of March. Also impressive was the other new release, found footage R-rated teen comedy Project X.
Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax grossed an absolutely amazing $70.2 million over the weekend, the highest ever for a Dr. Seuss adaptation. It is also the biggest opener for animation studio Illumination Entertainment, beating previous leader Despicable Me ($56.4 million) by a good amount. So yeah, this proved to be a most impressive debut for an animated flick, actually the biggest we’ve had since Shrek Forever After back in May 2010 and with John Carter tracking really low for next weekend, we might see a repeat in 1st place from the little orange hero. Either way The Lorax will end up as one of the biggest hits of 2012. The target here is $251.5 million, the total North American gross of Despicable Me and The Lorax already has a lead on that.
In 2nd place Project X took in $21 million, that’s the 6th best debut for a found footage film but only 3rd this year behind both Chronicle ($22 million) and The Devil Inside ($33.7 million). As is with this sub-genre, I expect a big drop next weekend so Project X could end up somewhere around $40-45 million when all will be said and done.
Act of Valor was 3rd with $13.5 million, a very respectable -44.5% drop and so the film has made $45.1 million after only 10 days in theaters.
In 4th place Safe House generated $7.3 million for $108.3 million after 24 days. That puts the film $7.2 million behind Denzel Washington’s most successful flick, American Gangster, through the same point in its run. With that in mind I think Safe House is now headed for no more than $120 million.
Tyler Perry’s latest was 5th with $7 million and that’s $25.8 million after 10 days. The film in question, Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds, is still the least successful feature of the now famous actor and will probably remain that way since I don’t see it finishing above $35 million.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was 6th with $6.5 million ($82.5 million), The Vow 7th thanks to $6 million ($111.6 million) and I was wrong about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance leaving the top 10 this weekend. The stupid and pointless sequel was 9th with $4.5 million and only $44.8 million thus far.
I was also wrong about The Artist finally venturing into the top 10. The film was only 11th with $3.6 million ($36.8 million). Unfortunately a Best Picture win was not enough to push the black and white silent film high enough. Ultimately The Artist might become the 2nd film (as far as data is available) to win a Best Picture Oscar and not reach the top 10, The Hurt Locker in 2009 being the first.