Superhero Free Weekend Good News for Ice Age
By John Hamann
July 15, 2012
The Ice Age franchise is not only a big earner, it is also cost-effective. Brave cost Pixar $185 million, Toy Story 3 cost $200 million, Cars 2 cost $200 million, Madagascar 3 cost $145 million, and Monsters vs. Aliens cost $175 million (all of these are production budgets, prior to marketing). Ice Age: Continental Drift cost a comparatively smaller $100 million, $10 million more than Ice Age 3, which went on to earn almost $900 million worldwide, or ten times its production budget. The Ice Age brand also makes a ridiculous amount of money through licensing and product sales. Variety reported on Thursday that the Ice Age franchise had earned $2 billion in “home entertainment and consumer product sales” since the franchise started in 2002. That makes the three films prior to this one a source of $4 billion in revenue for Fox, with more to come from Continental Drift. Lucrative isn't the word.
Finishing second this weekend is The Amazing Spider-Man, which took in $35 million in its second frame, dropping a decent 44%%. With this percentage drop, some hope returns for the superhero film; however, it does look like the studio may have overestimated to get it past the $200 million mark. It will be very interesting to see how The Amazing Spider-Man performs next weekend versus another superhero. I am expecting an even bigger drop for Spider-Man next weekend, as The Dark Knight gobbles the big screens that Ice Age 4 didn't get this weekend. Is The Amazing Spider-Man going to be a $300 million film for Sony? Nope. It will be the first Spider-Man entry not to make it to $300 million, and will have to push to get to $250 million. So far, The Amazing Spider-Man has earned $200.9 million.
Back to good news in third this weekend, as Ted holds remarkably well for what is supposed to be a guy movie. Ted, the comedy that took everyone by surprise over its opening weekend, earned $22.1 million in its third frame and fell only 31%. That follows a 41% drop last weekend, when it faced off against The Amazing Spider-Man and earned $32.2 million. While Ted is a very strong earner, its legs can't match that of The Hangover, as that one fell 27% and 18% in its second and third weekends. The Hangover had earned $152 million after three weekends, while Ted has earned a very similar $159 million. Weekend four for The Hangover brought its biggest drop of its first ten weekends at 36.5%, so it will be interesting to see how Ted performs against The Dark Knight Rises. The $50 million-budgeted Ted has a realistic shot at $200 million.
Pixar's Brave is fourth this weekend as it loses screens and is forced to face off against Ice Age 4. Brave grossed $10.7 million in its fourth weekend and dropped 45%, keeping its three weekend trend of drops between 41% and 48%. Over three weekends, the average drop for Brave is about 44.5%, where the average drop for WALL-E, the Pixar summer release with the worst legs, was 45.7%. Brave is going to finish at the domestic box office with similar totals to that of Ratatouille ($206.4 million) and WALL-E ($223.8 million), as it has a current take so far of $195.6 million.