Box Office: Clown Wigs over Giant Heads

Senior Editor
06.11.12 7 Comments

No matter what you think about Prometheus (I mostly enjoyed it, but I’m definitely not going to defend it), you have to give Fox credit for at least releasing it with an R-rating. But since no good deed goes unpunished and all of that, it earned $50 million for the weekend and still got beat by Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. Because when you make movies for kids, no one accuses you of pandering. Clown wigs? Polka dot zebras? Sure, why not. I haven’t seen it, but with a title that has “Europe” and “Madagascar” and features animals found exclusively on the African plains, I’m sure it was very educational. Maybe next time, call it “MadaNASCAR,” get the kids and the adults.

Madagascar earned $60 million, and Prometheus $50, which was good but not great.

While it had to settle for second place, Prometheus still earned an impressive $50 million in its opening weekend. That’s off from Inception‘s $62.8 million, though it’s a significant improvement over Super 8‘s $35.5 million from the same weekend last year. It’s the second-highest opening of director Ridley Scott’s career behind 2001’s Hannibal ($58 million), and it’s also a new record for the Alien franchise ahead of Alien Vs. Predator‘s $38.3 million (though ticket sales were about on par with that entry).

Ouch, Aliens Vs. Predator is never a flattering comparison, not even for Cowboys vs. Aliens.

Prometheus‘s debut ranks 12th all-time among R-rated movies, and among action-oriented ones it was behind The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8 million), 300 ($70.9 million), Watchmen ($55.2 million) and Wanted ($50.9 million).

The audience was 57 percent male and 64 percent 25 year of age and older. 3D accounted for 54 percent of ticket sales, while IMAX contributed 18 percent (nearly all of which is included within that 3D figure). [BoxOfficeMojo]

Meanwhile, and this is pure speculation, but the Prometheus audience seems to be the perfect overlap between people able and willing to torrent movies, and kids under 17 who might’ve bought a ticket for something else and snuck in. But that’s probably just me making excuses for thinking it would do better.


Elsewhere, Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s most self-derivative film, is still in limited release, and still had the highest per-screen average of any of the films in the top 10. At this point, wouldn’t you just release it everywhere? Meanwhile, Men in Black 3 has now grossed almost $136 million, with almost no chance to catch up to Men in Black II‘s $148 million take, after Sony spent $225 million just to shoot it (with estimates as high as $250), and an estimated $375 million to make and market. A bigger flop than John Carter? Nope, it earned 72% of its money overseas, and has made $487.6 million so far in total. Always remember, as bad as we think our taste is here in the states, foreigners are way worse. Have you ever seen the Eurovision Song Contest? That’s what pop culture looks like in other places.

Dark Knight Rises
Total Recall
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
BOMB PICK: The Raven: $26 million budget – $7 million opening = 19 million

The Avengers: $207 million opening
Men in Black 3: 55 million
Ice Age
BOMB PICK: Men in Black 3: 215 million budget – 55 million = 160
TOTAL: 422

Snow White & The Huntsman: 56
Bourne Legacy
BOMB PICK: Dark Shadows: $150 million – 28 million
TOTAL: 178

Prometheus: 50
GI Joe: Retaliation. The Watch
Madagascar: 60
BOMB PICK: Rock of Ages
TOTAL: 110

Amazing Spider-Man
Battleship: $25 million
Expendables 2
BOMB PICK: Battleship: 209m – 25m = 184
TOTAL: 209

OPENING THIS WEEKEND: Rock of Ages, That’s My Boy

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