Madagascar & Role Models Launch Strong


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

November kicked off in a big way with three new movies in wide release, but only two doing better than expected. DreamWorks Animation’s second movie of the year, the sequel Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, reunited the voice cast of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer, with their popular talking animals crash-landing in Central Africa. After grossing over $17 million on Friday, it brought in an estimated $63.5 million in business in more than 4,000 theaters, including a record 130 IMAX theaters. That amount would make it the highest grossing non-“Shrek” movie for the animation studio, making more in three days than the original Madagascar made over the four-day Memorial Day weekend back in 2005. The original Madagascar went on to gross $193 million, so one should expect the holidays should help the sequel gross more than $200 million, although it does have some fierce competition in weeks to come.

Opening in a strong second place, the R-rated buddy comedy Role Models (Universal), starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott, brought in an estimated $19.2 million over the weekend in 2,792 theaters, an impressive per-site average of $6,900. It opened better than Rudd’s last R-rated comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and based on estimates, it would be Scott’s highest non-“American Pie” opening, doing better than his previous Universal buddy comedy The Rundown with The Rock.

Dropping to third place, Disney’s High School Musical 3: Senior Year took in another $9.3 million to bring its total to $75.7 million after three weekends.

Clint Eastwood’s Changeling (Universal), starring Angelina Jolie, remained in fourth place for a second weekend in a row with $7.3 million and a total gross of just $20.5 million.

Over the weekend, it ended up ahead of Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno (The Weinstein Co.), starring Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks, which dropped from #2 to #5 for a second weekend take of $6.5 million, and a total of just under $21 million.

Former Weinstein Company distribution partners MGM released the R-rated musical road comedy Soul Men (MGM/Dimension), starring Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac, but it tanked with just $5.6 million in 2,044 theaters, apparently losing much of the targeted African-American audience to the DreamWorks animated movie.

Saw V (Lionsgate) dropped 57% in its third weekend to #7, adding $4.2 million to its total gross of $52.3 million, putting it just behind the previous installment at the same period of its run.

In eighth place, indie horror-thriller The Haunting of Molly Hartley (Freestyle Releasing) had a strong second weekend, dropping three places but off just 35% from its opening weekend with $3.5 million and $10.2 million total.

The top 10 grossed $125 million up 5% from the same weekend last year when Ridley Scott’s American Gangster narrowly defeated DreamWorks Animation’s Bee Movie, $43 million to $38 million.

In limited release, the Holocaust drama The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Miramax) grossed $255 thousand in 17 theaters while Darren Bousman’s horror opera Repo! The Genetic Opera grossed $51 thousand in 8 venues.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.