Aunt Grizelda (ELMARIE WENDEL) is annoyed by the Lorax (DANNY DE Aunt Grizelda (ELMARIE WENDEL) is annoyed by the Lorax (DANNY DE
CGIFeature Film

BOX OFFICE REPORT: “The Lorax” is a Hit


Illumination Entertainment’s The Lorax exceeded expectations and debuted in first place with a stunning $70.2 million last weekend. That places it in eighth place for all-time biggest openings for an animated film, and fourth-best for a non-sequel animated film. The success of the film validates the producer-driven approach to animated filmmaking taken by Illumination head Chris Meledandri, who exercises tight control over the casting, writing and creative direction of his films. It’s a page straight of Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks playbook and, for better or worse, Meledandri is proving that it can work for producers without the initials JK.

Meanwhile, in its third weekend, Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arrietty grabbed $1.5 million from 1,431 US theaters. The film landed in 14th place, but had the lowest per-theater average of any film in the top 20. Its US total now stands at $16.8 million.

  • With two hits in a row (excluding Hop), it looks like Illumination’s playing with the big boys now.
    Good for them!

  • Lucy

    I’d give some credit at least to whoever cut the Lorax’s trailer–I still haven’t seen the movie, but I want to. Because as much as I didn’t want to, that trailer has compelled me to.

  • Go liberal agendas Go…

  • Schultz!!

    It’s a shame Arrietty didn’t do better. Studio Ghibli’s movies are always a treasure.

    • Don’t be too sad, Arrietty had the biggest opening for a Studio Ghibli film in North America ever

      It’s also made $143,092,084 worldwide so far on a budget of $23 million, so I would consider that quite a success.

  • Matt

    Yay France & Mac Guff Studios!
    Make more Features! 2D Plz!

  • James Fox

    A film with a liberal agenda that came back and bit them in the @$$ via product placement scores $77.3mil. ?

    It’s official, this generation is doomed!

    • Funkybat

      If nature conservation and measured use of natural resources are considered only a “liberal agenda,” this generation is most definitely doomed.

  • Old Man Father Time

    “So long, Blue Sky! I’m off to go to Universal to start my own studio!”

    “He won’t last a year!” *snickers*

    “Hey there! I’m doing well! Illumiation Entertainment is now Universal’s go-to animation house, I have complete control over all creative assets, I outsource everything, and I pushed a highly-controversial children’s book into the 8th highest opening of any animated North American film of all time!”


  • Toonio

    Good for Illumination. As long they stop messing with live action movies they will have a good future.

    More quality studios mean less monopolies, more jobs and hopefully more great movies.

  • DB

    As someone who is not presently acquainted with any small kids, I’d be curious to know WHY this film opened so well.

    Is Dr. Seuss still THAT popular? Did the studio do genius marketing – and if so, where did they place ads, did they do a ton of promotions, and if so, what were they, etc?

    Is it that parents know Dr. Seuss (and Danny DeVito) and are the ones who dragged (so to speak) their kids to see it over the weekend?

    Or is it mostly just the movie opened with the luck of good timing?

    • It’s a mix. Yes, Dr. Suess is still that popular. Yes, THE LORAX also had sixty or seventy promotional “official” partners by opening weekend.

    • Old Man Father Time

      Competition. There are no other family animated feature films in theaters at the moment, and parents needed something to bring their kids to see.

      • Except Arrietty. Why aren’t more people bringing their kids to that?

      • Taco Wiz

        Because it’s anime.

      • Funkybat

        Arietty would probably bore a lot of today’s hyperactive, ADD-addled kids. The Lorax is the kind of “mainstream” candy-colored, slapstick-and-pun-filled popcorn movie a lot of kids (and parents) expect when they want to see an “animated cartoon” in theaters. Arietty is like a quiet, contemplative tale of the lives of two groups of people, and how change comes into each of their lives. I’d never take a kid under 8 to Arietty, and I suspect many 8 or up would find it slow and boring. I found it beautiful, but I’m an animation-loving adult, not a busy mom looking for something good for a few laughs that will satiate the kids for an hour and a half.

    • Sarah J

      Combination of a few things. First, there’s a lot of “nostalgia” going for it. Adults often read the book as children and have fond memories of it, so they’re more willing to go off to see the movie, especially if they have kids of their own. Second, it was the only family movie opening during that week, with the only other competition being Arietty with no other family/kid movie coming out for around a few more weeks. Family movies tend to do pretty well because not only are kids seeing them, their parents go to take them.

  • M. Seegz

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Be considerate and respectful of others in the discussion. Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

  • DonaldC

    Not too big a surprise.
    It’s a very “family friendly” film.