Universal Pictures' environmental animated movie "The Lorax" secures the champion title on North American box office with a massive gross on its opening weekend. The family film based on Dr. Seuss' children book grabs a massive $70.2 million, which is far above the studio's expectation.
The satisfying result marks the biggest opening ever for a non-sequel animated pic, breaking the record previously held by Pixar's "The Incredibles" which opened to $70.5 million in 2004. "Lorax" also marks the greatest box office performance by any animated film since 2010's "Toy Story 3", which debuted to $110.3 million, and "Shrek Forever After", which opened to $70.8 million.
"Lorax" scores the fourth top opening ever for any Universal's movie. Additionally, the Zac Efron and Taylor Swift-starring movie breaks the record of greatest opening in 2012, besting the $41.2 million scored by "The Vow" last February.
"The result is phenomenal," says Universal president of domectic distribution, Nikki Rocco, of the animation which production cost below $70 million. "Word of mouth was great, and that's why Saturday was up 80% from Friday. It's just spectacular."
Receiving an "A" CinemaScore, "Lorax" attracts to mostly parents and kids under the age of 12, which make up 70% of its ticket buyers. "I think there was a huge desire to see a Dr. Seuss 3D film from the creators of 'Despicable Me'," Rocco says.
Opening on the runner up spot is rave party film "Project X". The Warner Bros. Pictures' found-footage movie bags $21 million despite the fact the the film cost a modest $12 million. Receiving a "B" CinemaScore, it appeals to 67% moviegoers under the age of 25 with 58% of them are males. "[Producer] Todd Phillips is just incredibly talented," Warner Bros. executive vice president of distribution Jeff Goldstein said of the R-rated film.
Former chart-topper "Act of Valor" falls to the third place with $13.5 million, dropping 44% from last week. Denzel Washington's action pic "Safe House", meanwhile, stays on the fourth position this week with $7.3 million, dropping only 34% from last week. Rounding up the top five is "Good Deeds", which adds $7 million to its domestic cume.
*On the other hand, Oscar's big winner "The Artist" finishes on the tenth place with $3.6 million, increasing 34% from the prior weekend. The acclaimed silent drama, which cost a mere $15 million to produce, collects a total domestic cume of $37.1 million after fifteen weeks of playing in theaters.
Top Ten Movies at Box Office for March 2-4, 2012: