Gene Scallop here with breaking news! It doesn’t look good for Madagascar 3 folks! Entertainment Weekly’s ew.com has the verdict:
In animation, the next best thing to a grand vision is crack comic timing. The third chapter in the saga of Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) and his Central Park Zoo pals — now nostalgic for New York after their foray into Africa — has timing up the wazoo. It’s there in a (literally) over-the-top chase through the skies of Monte Carlo, in the grouchy fun of a troupe of Euro circus animals our heroes hook up with, and in bits like Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) singing a circus jingle inspired by his psychedelic Afro wig. The story in Madagascar 3 is functional, but the antically civilized spirit is infectious. B+
We’ve got breaking news from Universal. Following the slump-busting win last week in the box office, there’ll be a Huntsman 2 in the works! Here’s how Entertainment Weekly stacks up against Huntsman and Madagascar 3 when Fox’s Prometheus comes to visit the box office soon:
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” Cinema Score 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.
Looks like EW is going with my worst case scenario seeing that Madagascar 3 will rank 2nd position followed by Huntsman at 3rd. According to EW’s box office prediction, Prometheus should take the top position. Will the box office agree? Find out in my box office report if that’s the case!
We’ll keep you posted on this breaking news story during our Sunday news brief with Fish Head. See you Sunday!