Animation Dominates The U. S. Box Office

Ice Age: Continental Drift, the fourth installment in Blue Sky’s prehistoric series, opened last weekend int the top spot with an estimated $46 million. The opening weekend was modest compared to other CG films in 2012, but that was to be expected since the series is a bigger hit overseas than domestically. The last entry in the Ice Age series–Dawn of the Dinosaurs–earned $886.6 million around the world. To put that into perspective, that’s more than any Pixar film except for Toy Story 3. The new Continental Drift has already banked $339 million around the globe in addition to its U. S. total.

Besides Ice Age, there were three other animated films in the U. S. top ten (or two more, for those who don’t think of Ted as animated). Seth MacFarlane’s part-animated, part-live-action Ted took third place with an estimated $22.1M in its third weekend for a total of $159M. Pixar’s Brave followed in fourth place with $10.7M and a four-week total of $195.6M DreamWorks’ Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted took tenth place in its 6th weekend with an estimated $3.5M and a total of $203.7M.


  • http://www.freakishkid.com Freakish Kid

    I think its time we were crowned Kings of Hollywood…

  • Tredlow

    I remember watching Madagascar 3 and thinking “This is one of the most fun action movies I’ve ever seen!”

  • Austin Papageorge

    I guess the reason why audiences flock to these PG cgi movies is that they offer consistent quality.

    Whether or not that’s a good thing doesn’t really matter.

  • Kevin Martinez

    Sadly, though, feature animation is blander and more mediocre than ever.

    You’d think that all of these blockbuster animated films would lead to the greenlighting of some risker fare, even lower-budget ones or distribution of indie films. Or even something that breaks away from the usual Pixar/Dreamworks cliches.

    I mean, the Dark Knight paved the way for Christopher Nolan getting to do Inception, not to mention so many other live-action examples. Why can’t animation catch that kind of break?

    • Joe

      Oddly, it seems to be paving the way for more stop-motion efforts.

      Though I agree that most of it is the same stuff with a different make-over. At least it is doing well enough that it should eventually allow some of these studio to attempt things outside of “generic comedy adventure/fantasy.” It’s just a matter of time.

      So far, Rango seems to have been the riskiest lately though even that also desperately tried pandering to kids.

    • M.V

      I think to a degree it has happened already. Ratatouille, Wall-E,Up and Brave were all very unique films that broke away from the high concept, character driven comedies.

      I also think because Animation is more studio or brand driven as opposed to director driven its harder for individual voices to stand out (and as result..break out) Sure, we can name the Pixar directors. But how many people outside of the industry can name Dreamworks or Blue Sky directors?, what about Illuminations or Sony? Even fans have trouble.

      Also from the studios more is riding on a single picture. One big flop could close down a smaller animation studio,

      Honestly if you want to see a real break out picture. I think its going to have to be a grass roots sort of thing. prove theres an audience. then the studios will follow.

      • Kevin Martinez

        That’s because most studios treat directors like cogs, Pixar as much as anybody else (as seen with Brenda Chapman on Brave). No individual POV on a film only helps encourage blandness.

        And you don’t need to throw billions of dollars at an animated feature. I think Ralph Bakshi, Bill Plympton and Nina Paley have shown that already.

    • R. Araya

      And we thought that 2011 was a terrible year for theatrical (with a majority of productions being lambasted by critics, the long absence of the new “Looney Tunes” shorts for most of the year, etc.)

  • shane

    Get 3 cherries on the slot machine and keep chugging on the handle until the machine runs dry. Not sure formulaic sequels are really something we should all be celebrating, but hey they pay the bills.

  • R. Araya

    I smell the Simpsons having some credit for this…

    • Austin Papageorge

      Maybe, but I doubt that it accounts for more than $2 million of the gross.

      • R. Araya

        … while the rest could be accounted to the new “music celebrities” that appeared.

  • Mister Twister

    I guess this is a good thing. Now less comedies. Please. Animation can cover ALL kinds of stories.

    • R. Araya

      I think we also need less celebrities that not are actors.

  • chipper

    Live Action films these days often have that handheld camera all over the place which can be disorienting. And Pixar, and maybe some other companies too are kind enough to play a cartoon short before the movie. I wish live action movies would do that.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      You can thank those like Michael Bay for making that happen.