Weekend Box Office – MADAGASCAR 3 Passes PROMETHEUS with $60.3 Million Opening

     June 10, 2012

After winning Friday by a nose, Fox’s Prometheus slipped into second this weekend with an estimated $50 million from 3,396 locations. That gives Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted the win with a reported $60.3 million from 4,258 dates and puts overall box office receipts more than 30% ahead of 2011.

Title Weekend Total
1 Madagascar 3 $60,350,000 $60.3
2 Prometheus $50,000,000 $50
3 Snow White & the Huntsman $23,020,000 $98.5
4 Men in Black 3 $13,500,000 $135.5
5 The Avengers $10,809,000 $571.8
6 Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $3,235,000 $31
7 What to Expect When You’re Expecting $2,700,000 $35.7
8 Battleship $2,286,000 $59.8
9 The Dictator $2,150,000 $55.1
10 Dark Shadows $1,360,000 $73.7

prometheus-movie-posterWhat was a close race between this weekend’s two major new releases on Friday did not prove to be quite as close by the time three-day estimates were released. The stronger than expected $21.4 million launch of Prometheus on Friday was followed by an estimated 22% dip on Saturday, effectively ending the film’s shot at reaching $55 million. Still, it should be noted that not everyone was convinced that the R-rated Prometheus would even make it to $40 million this weekend. At this time last year JJ Abrams’ Super 8 managed just a $35.4 million debut; and that was with a PG-13 rating and the weekend (practically) to itself.

In terms of R-rated sci-fi, in August 2009 District 9 opened to $37.3 million. Of course, that was a big win for an original film from an unknown director. Prometheus, on the other hand, hails from the Alien franchise and was directed by Ridley Scott, the originator of the series and one of sci-fi’s most beloved auteurs. Its pedigree alone would seem to insure Prometheus a debut north of $40 million, right? Unfortunately, both Ridley Scott and his franchise have been having a hard time at the box office of late. In 2007, Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem grossed just $41.7 million over its entire run. That feature was not helmed by Scott, of course, but the director has had his own disappointments to deal with. His adaptation of Robin Hood in 2010 cost over $200 million but failed to earn back half that in the US (it was stronger internationally).

So even if the Prometheus estimate is a little lower than it could have been following Friday’s win, this is a good result for everyone involved. After adjusting for inflation, Fox can claim the biggest opening of the Alien franchise, topping 2004’s Alien vs. Predator which grossed $38.2 million ($46.5 adjusted) in its debut back in 2004. As for its director, Prometheus gives Ridley Scott the second biggest debut of his career. First place goes to Hannibal, which grossed $58 million (not adjusted) in 2001.

madagascar-3-europes-most-wanted-movie-posterSo now that we’ve talked at length about the weekend’s second-most popular movie, what about the winner? The Madagascar series has been a solid domestic performer for Dreamworks since its debut in 2005 – not exactly Shrek-sized, but solid. This weekend’s $60.3 million represents the second-best debut of the franchise behind the $63.1 million (not adjusted) of Madagascar 2: Escape from Africa in November 2008. That film was in slightly fewer locations (4,056) and did not feature 3D, unlike Europe’s Most Wanted. Madagascar 2 was also a huge hit overseas, grossing over $600 million globally, so there is every chance that this latest installment will be an international cash cow. Or cash hippo, I guess… whatever.

In other news, last week’s big winner, Snow White and the Huntsman took a big hit this weekend, falling an estimated 59% from its debut. And, outside the top ten, The Hunger Games should be passing the $400 million mark any minute now. That makes it the second film of the year to pass that milestone, after The Avengers.

Next weekend should secure 2012 another win over its 2011 counterpart. Though neither the musical Rock of Ages nor the Adam Sandler comedy That’s My Boy is expected to earn over $35 million, provided Madagascar 3 has a good hold, the overall box office should top last year’s frame. Remember? That was the week that Green Lantern came out. Or would you rather not be reminded of  that whole mess?


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  • Jesus

    Good, Prometheus was such a disappointment and so poorly written.

    • Alien Lover

      I pretty much agree. The first 20-30 minutes were fascinating and mysterious in a “2001: A Space Odyssey” kind of way, and then the whole thing quickly devolved into a big convoluted mess of boredom, incomprehensibility, and with nary and a well-drawn character. And the casting, especially Idris Elba, was it’s biggest downfall. He singlehandedly ruined every scene he was in, which was most of them. The other characters – even Noomi Rapaci – just had no personal character. All I can say about the film is that the cinematography and visuals were good, but without character who cares?

      • MicoY

        I really liked the movie. Probably there is a huge difference if you watch it on IMAX or not. About the casting I agree with you about Rapace, but not about Elba. And you don’t mention Fassbender who was just “epic”.

    • Anon

      Yeah and Madagascar 3 is modern day art?

    • derek

      It received good ratings, and did well for an R-rated movie. Apparently, you didn’t read the article.

      Prometheus isn’t for the average idiot.

      • Jesus

        No, only the especially stupid idiots who have to use the entirety of their intellect to grasp the larger themes which were presented and then clumsily fumbled about with horrible writing, stupid characters (like actually stupid – cobra alien vs. biologist, anyone?), and plotholes a mile wide.

        I guess you must have loved it then.

    • jesusisaMORON

      You’re a freaking moron, there’s a reason you were crucified…for being a god damn neanderthal idiot.

      • Jesus

        And based on your response, assuming that’s the rationale behind crucifixion, you’d be right there next to me. If you’re going to make an argument, say something besides a string of insulting words, otherwise you sound like a petulant child who can’t think of a good reason why he likes something. Grow up.

    • Max

      What are you talking about? 50 million is great for Prometheus

  • Byron

    Yea Prometheus cut itself off at the legs with poor hastily edited third act. Either Fox had more heavy hand in the final product than reported or Ridley is really beginning to lose it, the final hour is so jarring it’s like watching someone commit suicide right before your eyes.

  • Calcazone

    I didn’t like Prometheus, but I still want it to do well so we can get more R rated large budget films.

    • zillabeast

      Now that’s a Catch-22 right there. You want the shitty ones to succeed in hopes of getting a good one. Or do you simply want all the miserable ones to fail and reduce your chances at all.

      I think Prometheus sliding in at no. 2 could fulfill both. Did decent enough to warrant another attempt, but you know you need to do better if you want no. 1.

      Also, don’t open against a highly anticipated family sequel.

  • Idiots

    Crying – “They didn’t give me the ending I wanted in Prometheus, plus the movie made me think. WAAA!!! I don’t like it”

    Bunch of fucking crybabies. Sorry it wasn’t Transformers/Avengers…

    • Jesus

      It has nothing to do with not getting the ending we wanted, it’s about a film that presents some interesting ideas and then fails miserably in following through with them. Instead, it attempts to distract the audience with some great visuals in the hopes that you’ll ignore poor characterization and illogical plot points.

  • Banes

    Prometheus is suspenseful but not smarter and horrifying thriller but it keeps engage.

  • Do by

    All I have been reading on here is the whiny-ass moaning about Prometheus. Do you people actually ever like anything? Or do you just sit at your laptops and complain the F***k out of everything? If you don’t like having to actually think about what you are watching, or being challenged, or have respect for a movie maker who has the balls to fo make something different, then go buy your tickets from transformers 15, or go back to ain’t it cool, where you belong.

    Better still, if you know so much, get up of your fat asses, and go make something better…

    Used to love this site.

    • Nik


    • That Film Nerd

      THANK YOU!!! These people don’t get it at all. I really don’t understand why movie-goers want everything answered for them, it just shows how dumb they really are and how much they don’t like a challenge. Ridley Scott wants to continue the story with Prometheus 2. That’s why he told everyone not to go in thinking its gonna be like Alien. It’s suppose to be a stand-alone, but nobody gets it as usual…

  • eowyn

    Oh shit. If the actual script ruined Prometheus I am soo worried about Star Trek 2 right now…

  • Django9000

    Dude. Prometheus is everything we could’ve hoped for and more.
    As this site’s review basically states, believe NO reviews and go in with an open mind, as it provides nary an easy answer, while providing a bloody disgusting feast for the eyes.

    All I can say is, the film left me wanting to see it again. And in 3-D. And I have never said that about a film. EVER.

    Disgustingly disgusting. Thus – IMPOSSIBLE to give a glowingly positive review upon first viewing.

    These naysayers need to get their heads out their ass and ATTEMPT to make some freaking films, let alone tell a compelling story.

    SEE IT AGAIN. (I know I will.)

  • Max

    I loved Prometheus

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