Box Office Report: 'Ice Age 4' Takes Number One, but Still Doesn't Impress

Box Office Report: 'Ice Age 4' Takes Number One, but Still Doesn't Impress

Jul 16, 2012


Here's your weekend box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. Ice Age: Continental Drift - $46.0 million

2. The Amazing Spider-Man - $35.0 million

3. Ted - $22.1 million

4. Brave - $10.7 million

5. Magic Mike - $9.0 million

6. Savages - $8.7 million

7. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection - $5.6 million

8. Katy Perry: Part of Me - $3.7 million

9. Moonrise Kingdom - $3.6 million

10. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - $3.5 million

So how did The Dark Knight Rises do? Oh, that's next week. I guess we'll just have to deal with these numbers in the meantime. Are any of them really that impressive to look further into, especially when Christopher Nolan's film is likely to outgross all 10 films put together - and more - by next Sunday? It does seem appropriate that on the weekend Fox delivers another stale entry in their cash cow animated franchise that the numbers on the surface don't seem all that interesting. But let's try to make them so, shall we?

A $46 million start for Ice Age 4 hardly looks great compared to the original pulling in $46.3 in a non-summer, non-3D start back in 2002 and especially not against the 2006 sequel (The Meltdown) starting up with $68. Someone may want to point though that the last film's opening weekend was a mere $41.6 million, so an improvement, right? Not particularly. Dawn of the Dinosaurs in 2009 was a Wednesday opener and already had a headstart on a weekend where its third-day Friday numbers were also higher than Continental Drift. It also has a long way to go if it is going to come close to matching its $886 million worldwide haul. Though the fourth film's international headstart of $238 million certainly helps. It is currently at $385 million worldwide including this weekend's U.S. haul.

Can Continental Drift come close to the $176-$196 million range predicated by its predecessors domestically? Or have parents and especially their children realized that they are just getting the same warmed-over material for a fourth time? On the list of animated openings since 2008, Ice Age 4 finishes a rather unimpressive 16th. Only six of the films ahead of it were sequels and include all of 2012's animated successes (The Lorax, Madagascar 3 and Brave.) How to Train Your Dragon (18th on the list with a $43.7 opener) went on to grab over $217 million in its run, but is word of mouth likely to be that solid? If we look at summer's animated offerings since 2008 (ones that opened to at least $20 million), the multipliers from opening weekend to final gross are rather impressive.

Despicable Me ($56.3 opening / $251.5 final = 4.45), Up ($68.1 / $293.0 = 4.30), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($41.6 / $196.5 = 4.11), Toy Story 3 ($110.3 / $415.0 = 3.76), Kung Fu Panda ($60.2 / $215.4 = 3.57)

Ice Age 3 earns its third place finish there even after chopping off its opening Wednesday and Thursday. In fact, 10 of the 11 animated summer films from this last managed at least a three-times opening-to-final gross. Only last summer's Cars 2 came up short with a 2.89 figure and while Brave should be hitting the three mark by Tuesday if it cannot make it to $224 million domestically, Pixar will be looking at the two weakest multipliers of that sample size in the past five years and may want to look at some quality control. Fox, on the other hand, is hopeful that with no new family films for another three weeks (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days) and nothing new on the animated front until Paranorman (August 17), Ice Age 4 can come in around $153-168 million in the U.S. By next week it will be - at worst - the seventh highest-grossing film worldwide of 2012.

Looking at the films higher on that list, just how is The Amazing Spider-Man doing? Well, it crosses the $200 million mark in 13 days ranking it 34th amongst films that went on to such a feat. It is still $23 million off of Transformers' 2007 pace and growing. That would keep it from reaching $300 million as each of Sam Raimi's films achieved and then some. Though its drop was a stable 44% in its second weekend, it could be in store for a Hulk-like drop once Batman takes over. Anything over a 55% drop next week and it may struggle to reach $275. But like another $225+ million budgeted hit for Sony this year (Men in Black 3), its tremendous success overseas will put it well out of the red and one of the highest worldwide grossers of 2012.

Meanwhile, Ted is still slightly ahead of The Hangover's $277 million pace, but it is dropping. Fortunately for Seth MacFarlane it is the only place where it is dropping. With nearly $160 million in the bank, it will pass Bridesmaids, There's Something About Mary and Pretty Woman on this exclusive list by next weekend to become the fifth highest R-rated comedy ever. Wedding Crashers ($209.2) should eventually fall and Beverly Hills Cop ($234.7) might take a stretch. Unfortunate that Todd Phillips will maintain his James Cameron-like crown with the two highest films of the like. Even if neither Hangover film will be on anyone's mind when The Dark Knight Rises outgrosses both of them by no later than July 28.


[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

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