Weekend Forecast for June 8-10, 2012
By Reagen Sulewski
June 8, 2012
Moving from the prequel to the sequel, we have Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted which brings back Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith et. al for voice work, as they continue to try to get back to their familiar New York City zoo environment. This leads through a European circus tour, and hilarity ensues, apparently.
The Madagascar series is a strange one, as I don't think I've ever heard anyone express any kind of passion for the main characters or plots, which tend towards the generic. On the other hand, the real breakout stars of it are the diabolical penguins, who tend to steal every scene they're in. Can sidekicks carry a franchise? Well, Scrat is the reason we've had three, soon to be four Ice Age movies, so probably.
The previous two films opened to $47 and $63 million respectively, and coming in a little under $200 million domestic and $600 million worldwide both times, so there's no big mystery as to why we're getting a third outing. And parents will dutifully tote their little tots to this film that has a safe and respected brand. Is it good? Doesn't really matter does it? For its debut, I'd expect around $58 million.
Snow White and the Huntsman outpaced a lot of expectations by opening to $56 million last weekend, with its fantasy/action take on the classic fairy tale. Whether it's down to Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, some combo of all of them or just a set of great trailers with interesting visuals, it's a moderate success and could lengthen the 15 minutes of Kristen Stewart. I'd expect every screenwriter worth his salt to be working on some CGI-heavy version of a public domain fairy tale – possibly something to do with Goldilocks. Most audiences were decidedly “meh” on the film, and I think we'll see a second weekend of about $30 million.
As expected, the second weekend business for Men in Black 3 evaporated, as it dropped almost 50% to $28 million. That still brought the film's total to around $111 million, and with a little luck, it could possibly match the $190 million of Men in Black 2 (which dropped more, more quickly, but had some bonus July 4th business that helped it along). It's been a long time since Will Smith ruled the summer, and Men in Black 3 isn't going to change that back. Give it $15 million more for this weekend.
On the other end of the scale, The Avengers has now officially passed The Dark Knight for third place on the all-time list, currently sitting at around $560 million total, and $1.3 billion internationally, also good for third all-time. Already the owner of the fastest trip to each of the first five “hundred million” milestones, it will probably fall short on the sixth, unless it can manage a miracle of legs in these next two weekends. Thanks to Titanic's re-release earlier this year, second place is probably out of reach both domestically and internationally, but in any case, we've seen an incredible run that will dwarf the rest of the stories from the summer. Give it $13 million this weekend.