The latest Disney/Pixar Animation Studios collaboration Brave hit a bullseye with moviegoers to take the top spot; While the comics based pic Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter took 3rd behind CG Animated sequel Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted...
Pamela McClintock of THR:
Fears that a female heroine would slow down Brave proved unfounded as the animated tentpole opened to a whopping $66.7 million at the domestic box office -- the fifth best debut of all time for a Pixar title.
Brave, continuing Pixar's unblemished record of opening all of its movies to No. 1, also scored the second highest June opening for an animated pic after Pixar's Toy Story 3 ($110.3 million). Overseas, the Pixar and Disney title debuted to $13.5 million in 10 markets.
The 3D event pic -- receiving an A CinemaScore in North America -- marks Pixar's 13th film and is the first movie in the company's history to feature a female lead.
Family product ruled the box office all the way around. DreamWorks Animation and Paramount holdover Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted fell to No. 2 in its third weekend with an estimated $20.2 million for a domestic cume of roughly $157.6 million (Madagascar 3 opened to $60.1 million).
Managing only a third-place finish was 20th Century Fox's 3D genre epic Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The R-rated film, playing like a horror pic, grossed a soft $16.5 million in its opening. Fox had predicted a debut in the $15 million range, but box office observers believed the film could get to $20 million.
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov and featuring Tim Burton in the producer's seat, Abraham Lincoln received a C+ CinemaScore.
Abraham Lincoln, costing $68 million to produce, features the storied U.S. president as a vampire hunter and is based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the adapted screenplay. The film is an important test for the "mash-up" genre, with Lionsgate queued up to make the film adaptation of Grahame-Smith's book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Fox believes the film, which skewed male, will have good legs.
"Audiences will continue to seek out Timur's daring and brilliant vision of Abraham Lincoln," Fox's incoming president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson said.
The news wasn't good for Steve Carell-Keira Knightley indie pic Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which debuted to $3.8 million from 1,625 locations. The Focus Features title came in No. 10, just ahead of fellow Focus pic Moonrise Kingdom, which grossed a pleasing $3.4 million from only 395 theaters for a pleasing cume of $11.6 million.
At the specialty box office, Woody Allen's To Rome With Love got off to a strong start, grossing $379,371 from five theaters for a sizeable location average of $75,874. Sony Pictures Classics, which distributed Allen's box office hit Midnight in Paris, is once again handling domestic distribution duties for the filmmaker.
Domestic box office, Top 10 June 22-24
1. Brave, 1/4,164, Disney/Pixar, $66.7 million.
2. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, 3/3,920, $20.2 million, $157.6 million.
3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, 1/3,108, $16.5 million.
4. Prometheus, 3/2,862, $10 million, $108.5 million.
5. Snow White and the Hunstman, 4/2,919, $8 million, $137.1 million.
6. Rock of Ages, 2/3,470, $8 million, $28.8 million.
7. The Avengers, 8/2,230, Disney/Marvel Studios, $7 million, $598.3 million.
8. That's My Boy, 2/3,030, Sony, $7.9 million, $28.2 million.
9. Men in Black 3, 5/2,462, Sony, $5.6 million, $163.3 million.
10. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, 1/1,625, Focus, $3.8 million
Next: Things get really crowded as Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and Seth MacFarlane hang out with Ted; Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper flick Magic Mike gets to strut its stuff with plemty eye candy for the ladies; Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer are just People Like Us; And Tyler Perry's back with his latest comedy Madea's Witness Protection