Opened in 4,056 theaters across North America starting on Friday, November 7, "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" steals the box office crown from "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" over the weekend. The sequel of 2005 hit DreamWorks animation comedy, "Madagascar", has shot to the top of three-day weekend box office, earning $63.1 million.
Outgrossing the first "Madagascar" movie by 35 percent, the tale of stranded zoo animals on their way home has become the biggest weekend bow since "The Dark Knight" collected $158.4 million back in July. To top that, it also scores the biggest debut for a CGI cartoon movie since "The Simpsons Movie" and is the second-best premiere ever for a non-summer animated movie right behind "The Incredibles".
In addition, "Escape 2 Africa" has outdone "Bee Movie", the CGI family comedy which kicked off the 2007 holiday season, by 67 percent. On the amazing run by the toon voiced by Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith, Anne Globe, head of marketing for DreamWorks Animation comments, "It just shows people seem happy to escape to the movies and have a good laugh."
The success of "Escape 2 Africa" has been followed by "Role Models" which secures the runner-up position with $19.2 million. Telling the story of two immature adults sentenced to community service as mentors for two misfit youngsters, the movie starring Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd has opened bigger than recent 2008 released R-rated films, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" and "Sex Drive".
While both newcomers "Escape 2 Africa" and "Role Models" launch to a great start, "High School Musical 3" has slipped to the third slot. Experiencing another 40.2 percent decrease in sales, the Disney's drama musical which cast includes Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu pulls in $9.2 million and raises its total to $75.6 million.
The remaining two Top 5 box office movies are "Changeling" and "Zack and Miri Make a Porno". Staying firm at the fourth place since last weekend, Clint Eastwood-directed and Angelina Jolie-starring "Changeling" grosses $7.3 million over the weekend, while "Zack and Miri" drops three spots to the fifth place with $6.3 million. Aside from those top five, another newcomer, Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac-toplining comedy "Soul Men", debuts sixth on the chart with $5.4 million.
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for November 7 - 9, 2008: