Universal's animated family film The Lorax was the number one film for the second week in a row at the box office, easily besting the mega budget fantasy John Carter. The Dr. Seuss story had one of the best week-to-week holds so far in 2012 and looks like it's on track to cross $200 million dollars in its North American theatrical run.
Meanwhile, John Carter opened with a less than respectable $31 million dollars in spite of relentless marketing from Disney that had ads running ad nauseam for the past few weeks. Given the films reported quarter of a billion dollar budget, the North American box office won't be enough to get this one into the black. Instead, it will rely heavily on the international ticket sales to try and prevent the film from becoming one gigantic write-off for the studio.
Another new entry, the horror film Silent House, opened to a tepid $7 million dollars. The real-time thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen was modestly budgeted, but the numbers are far below what other entries in this genre have been pulling down in recent months. Expectations were around $15 million dollars this weekend, and it will struggle to collect half of that. It wasn't even enough to topple the action orgy Act of Valor in its third week out.
Finally in this week's releases, and certainly least, is Eddie Murphy's latest career puzzler A Thousand Words. It's been ages since Eddie Murphy has done anything remotely interesting. I'm starting to wonder who exactly he's making these movies for. Garbage like Meet Dave, Pluto Nash and Imagine That have tanked so badly that I’m thinking that his movies are some kind of tax write off for their investors. I'd call it 'charity', but that would imply that some good was coming out of these wretched productions. And yet, in spite of a painful slew of torturous bile A Thousand Words managed $6 million dollars this weekend.
Last week's other holdover, Project X, held well bringing in another $11 million dollars. Next time out it faces competition from another type of teen comedy and next week's only major release, 21 Jump Street.
Next weekend also brings Will Ferrell's Spanish Language comedy Casa de Mi Padre to a few hundred screens, and we're now two weeks out from the potential juggernaut franchise that is The Hunger Games.
Here's your top films for North America...
1. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Weekend Estimate: $42 million; $125m total
2. John Carter
Weekend Estimate: $31 million
3. Project X
Weekend Estimate: $11 million; $40 million total
4. Act of Valor
Weekend Estimate: $7.5 million; $56 million total
5. Silent House
Weekend Estimate: $7 million