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Box Office

The Lion Roars — Again

It’s all over the news, and now it’s here too:  Not only did the 3D re-release of Disney’s The Lion King top the box office this weekend; not only did it double movie industry expectations… it also did more business than the three new big-studio releases for the weekend did combined. This new infusion of box-office cash raises the biggest hand-drawn animated film of all time from #25 to #17 on the list of all-time biggest domestic box office. Of course, the film is only going to be in theaters for two weeks, all in anticipation of the new Blu-Ray release of The Lion King on October 4th — and yes, that will include the 3D version for your home. “It means more furries… for the rest of our days…”  Well, we can only hope.

image c. 2011 Walt Disney Pictures

The Power of the Viewing Public…

We can’t put this any better, so we’re lifting this verbatim from Box Office Guru:

“The big story this weekend came in third place [behind Date Night and Clash of the Titans — ye ed-otter] where the 3D animated film How To Train Your Dragon witnessed a remarkably low 13% decline in its third round for an estimated $25.4M gross boosting the 17-day total to a terrific $133.9M. Short-sighted film industry watchers and impatient Wall Street investors prematurely dismissed Dragon and DreamWorks Animation after its less-than-stellar opening weekend two weeks ago. The company’s stock dropped 8% on the first trading day after the debut with analysts lowering their estimates for the final domestic take to just $152M. Dragon will now crush that mark next weekend and looks on course to break the $200M barrier too becoming the second biggest 3D toon of all-time behind just the $293M of Up. Beating Pixar’s Oscar winner may not be possible, but outgrossing other competitors like Monsters vs. Aliens, Ice Age 3, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs makes Dragon a powerful performer. The PG-rated film was indeed slow out of the gate, but amazing word-of-mouth coupled with school holidays for spring have made Dragon the must-see film for kids and parents. Competition for families and 3D screens remains extremely light for the next five weeks so the Viking pic’s strong run should continue. Reaching $250M cannot be ruled out at this point given the road ahead since Dragon will be able to earn at least five times its opening figure, if not more.”

In other words, keep spreading that amazing word-of-mouth, people!

That’s One BIG Mammoth…

This just in from The Hollywood Reporter and As of this writing the Blue Sky / Fox GGI film Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs has grossed nearly $660 million (U.S. dollars equivalent) internationally. By the middle of next week, the film is expected to take the #3 spot for highest grossing films ever internationally, right behind Titanic and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Fourth go-round, anyone?

Guinea Pigs Gone Wild!

In a surprising development that few in or out of Hollywood were expecting, Disney’s 3-D guinea-pig-secret-agent film G-Force topped Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince AND a brand new romantic comedy (The Ugly Truth) for the top spot at the U.S. box office this past weekend, earning more than $32 million according to studio estimates. This is from The Los Angeles Times: “”We knew we had a really good-playing family movie, but when you’re competing against a film like Harry Potter, you can never presume anything,” said Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Group. Although critics had few nice words for G-Force, audiences were pleased, giving the movie an average grade of B-plus, according to market research firm CinemaScore. That presages a healthy box-office run that could see it ultimately earning more than $100 million.” The film was directed by Hoyt Yeatman and produced by Mr. Action Movie himself, Jerry Bruckheimer.