Weekend Box Office (June 15 - 17, 2012)

by Sujit Chawla

THIS WEEKEND In a situation eerily similar to one in June of 2010, an animated threequel in its second weekend held off the openings of films from box office heavyweights Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler. Except this year, it was much, much worse.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted easily held onto the box office crown this week, dipping 44% from last weekend to $34.1M, according to final studio figures, bringing its cume to $119M. The hold was actually a little better than the threequel from 2010, Disney's Toy Story 3 which fell 46% from its opening weekend. Of course by the end of its second weekend the Woody and Buzz toon had banked $226.9M and would go on to be the top grossing film of the year. Still, Ben Stiller and company should see their animated wonder end with a final of around $220M, which would be the best in the series, albeit this time helped by 3D surcharges.

The highly anticipated sci-fi prequel Prometheus stayed in the number two position this week, but fell 59% from its opening to $20.7M, bringing its total to $89.4M. Mixed reviews and lack of post-opening weekend buzz haven't helped Ridley Scott's return to the genre he helped define decades ago, so look for the alien encounter film to end its run in the $130M range.

Two years ago Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler opened films on the same weekend with Sandler coming out on top by a $20M margin. This year Cruise's film opened bigger by $1M but both were highly disappointing. Rock of Ages, based on the Broadway musical and featuring rock tunes from the 80s, opened to a less-than-stellar $14.4M this weekend from 3,470 theaters for a per screen average of a middling $4,161. Starring a cornucopia of stars including Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones, to go along with Cruise, the film simply didn't connect with audiences. The audience breakdown was 62% female with 74% of the audience over the age of 25 - older women who grew up with the music featured in the film. Reviews were mostly negative though audiences gave the film a B according to CinemaScore. Cruise's film from 2010 was Knight and Day (co-starring Cameron Diaz) and it opened to $20.1M. It'll be interesting to see how much blame Cruise gets for this opening as he was barely featured in the trailers and was more of a supporting (albeit highly entertaining) character to Julianne Hough and Diego Bonita.

In June of 2010 Adam Sandler led a group of comedy cohorts to a strong $40.5M opening with Grown Ups. The film, which co-starred Kevin James, Chris Rock and Salma Hayek among others, ended up with a final cume of $162M and a sequel is in the works. This weekend however, Sandler's That's My Boy opened with $13.5M from 3,030 theaters for a per screen average of $4,440. The film's R rating certainly played a role as it stopped Sandler's teen audience from coming out to see it, but it seems as far as co-stars go, Andy Samberg is no Chris Rock. Or even a Rob Schneider. The film received a B- from CinemaScore viewers and will be hard pressed to end its run matching the opening weekend of Grown Ups. And to add just a little more perspective, two brand new movies starring two of the biggest box office draws in history took in less COMBINED than the second weekend of Madagascar 3.

Levelling off a little in its third trip around the box office charts was the dark fairy tale Snow White and the Huntsman which dropped 43% this weekend to $13.3M, bringing its cume to $122.1M with a sequel already greenlit by Universal.

Men in Black 3 led the back half of the top 10, coming in at number six this weekend, adding another $10M to its coffers bringing its total to $152.7M. Box office behemoth The Avengers had the best hold in the top 10, dipping only 21% in its seventh weekend to $8.9M, bringing its cume to a superhero-sized $586.8M. With the $600M barrier within reach, the only question now is whether or not The Dark Knight Rises can match its Marvel counterpart.

A couple of indie darlings bring up the next two spots. Landing at number eight this week was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which dropped 30% from last weekend to $2.3M, bringing its total up to $35.2M. Rising 44% from last weekend was the latest from Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom, which continues its impressive run in limited release. This weekend the film took in $2.2M bringing its total to $6.8M while still playing on less than 200 screens. Battleship rounded out the top 10 with $1.2M bringing its cume to $62.2M.

The top ten films grossed $120.6M which was down 17% from last year when Green Lantern opened in the top spot with $53.2M; and down 36% from 2008 when Toy Story 3 exploded into the number one spot with $110.3M.

Compared to projections, Rock of Ages and That's My Boy opened well below Gitesh's predictions of $25M and $23M respectively.

Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

Watch the trailer for Wreck-It Ralph. For NEW REVIEWS of Rock of Ages and Patang visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Brave, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Seeking A Friend for the End of the World all open.

# Title Jun 15 - 17 Jun 8 - 10 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted $ 34,055,474 $ 60,316,738 -43.5 4,263 2 $ 7,989 $ 119,006,006 Paramount
2 Prometheus 20,712,174 51,050,101 -59.4 3,442 2 6,017 89,370,301 Fox
3 Rock of Ages 14,437,269 3,470 1 4,161 14,437,269 Warner Bros.
4 That's My Boy 13,453,714 3,030 1 4,440 13,453,714 Sony
5 Snow White and the Huntsman 13,265,635 23,058,790 -42.5 3,701 3 3,584 122,062,670 Universal
6 Men in Black 3 10,047,575 13,895,720 -27.7 3,135 4 3,205 152,726,558 Sony
7 The Avengers 8,905,467 11,249,738 -20.8 2,582 7 3,449 586,794,371 Disney
8 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2,283,218 3,267,156 -30.1 1,184 7 1,928 35,216,713 Fox Searchlight
9 Moonrise Kingdom 2,237,726 1,559,670 43.5 178 4 12,571 6,839,462 Focus
10 Battleship 1,248,150 2,276,410 -45.2 942 5 1,325 62,151,820 Universal
11 What to Expect When You're Expecting 1,203,381 2,788,226 -56.8 1,216 5 990 38,639,382 Lionsgate
12 The Dictator 1,109,454 2,242,563 -50.5 1,119 5 991 57,677,717 Paramount
13 The Hunger Games 852,832 1,072,213 -20.5 593 13 1,438 401,766,452 Lionsgate
14 Dark Shadows 623,388 1,410,207 -55.8 680 6 917 75,156,016 Warner Bros.
15 Bernie 618,746 820,177 -24.6 300 8 2,062 5,870,616 Millenium
16 For Greater Glory 545,121 928,321 -41.3 380 3 1,435 4,542,559 ARC
17 The Intouchables 357,028 385,168 -7.3 77 4 4,637 1,552,645 Weinstein Co.
18 Safety Not Guaranteed 296,494 97,762 203.3 47 2 6,308 439,999 FilmDistrict
19 Hysteria 284,377 148,395 91.6 218 4 1,304 1,059,488 Sony Classics
20 The Lorax 260,380 337,855 -22.9 277 16 940 212,490,250 Universal
Top 5 $ 95,924,266 $ 159,571,087 -39.9
Top 10 120,646,402 171,705,112 -29.7
Top 20 126,797,603 178,524,191 -29.0
Top 20 vs. 2011 126,797,603 150,598,670 -15.8

Last Updated: June 18, 2012 at 9:50PM ET

Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Thursday at 7:40pm ET.