Wow. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax sure let everyone know who’s boss.
The animated family film surpassed all expectations to earn $70.7 million over the weekend, earning back its budget (reported to be less than $70 million) in a mere three days with the biggest opening weekend so far this year. (It’s a record it probably won’t hold onto for much longer, what with The Hunger Games coming out in three weeks, but still.) Second place finisher Project X didn’t do too shabbily, either: The R-rated comedy, made on a budget of $12 million, picked up $20.7 million during its opening weekend. Last week’s champion Act of Valor brought in a weekend gross of $13.7 million (total gross $45.2 million), and rounding out the top five were Safe House (weekend gross $7.2 million, total gross $108.1 million) and Good Deeds (weekend gross $7 million, total gross $25.7 million).
Last weekend’s new limited releases included Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie ($93,000), Being Flynn ($45,600), Boy ($23,390 in only two theaters), The Salt of Life ($21,000) and Let the Bullets Fly ($11,400). Newly minted Oscar winners The Iron Lady, The Artist, A Separation and Undefeated, meanwhile, were the beneficiaries of a good ol’ fashioned Oscar bump; the four films saw a respective jump in their box office earnings of 29, 34, 173 and 336 percent, though it should be noted that The Artist picked up just under 800 theaters since last weekend. The Oscar-snubbed We Need to Talk About Kevin had a bump of its own; expanding from 16 theaters to 40 over the weekend, the film saw a jump of 251 percent; its weekend gross of $132,000 brings its total so far to $817,720.
Out in wide release next weekend and trying to topple the Lorax from its pedestal will be A Thousand Words, Silent House and John Carter, the last of which is Pixar’s first foray into live-action moviemaking. Out in limited release will be Attenberg, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, The Decoy Bride, Friends with Kids, Footnote, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Seeking Justice, Sound of Noise and Saviors in the Night. MM