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‘Brave’ Marks Pixar’s 13th Straight Box-Office Victory

If it's late June, it's Pixar's time to dominate the box office. Brave, the studio's first fairy tale, took in $66. 3 million this weekend, good for its fifth biggest opening and 13th straight film opening at number one.

Animation dominated the top spots at the box office in fact, as in its third weekend, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted beat out all newcomers for second place.

Disney was hoping for bigger things from Brave, but considering it came in ahead of the opening for Cars 2 and has gotten better reviews, it should be hailed as a big accomplishment. Some financial folks are concerned that a fairy tale limits the studio's value due to its lack of innovation, but Pixar has a movie in the works that will take place inside the human mind, so no worries there.

With a major rival hitting theaters this weekend, Madagascar 3 dropped just 42.1 percent to fall to just second place. Its $157 million so far puts it on track to finish with similar domestic numbers as its two predecessors. Globally, it will have to more than double its total in order to outdo Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, but it hasn't even come out in 18 other countries, including the U.K. and several other places in Europe.

In third was newcomer Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with a weak $16.3 million, a far cry from director Timur Bekmambetov's first Hollywood feature, Wanted, which opened with $50.9 million. Given the film centers on an American president, don't expect huge international numbers either. It wasn't expected to beat Pixar, but clearly not enough folks took the history/vampire mash-up seriously.

The Top 10

1. Brave - $66.3 M ... $66.3 M 
2. Madagascar 3 - $19.7 M ... $157 M
3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - $16. 3 M ... $16. 3 M 
4. Prometheus - $9.9 M ... $108.4 M 
5. Snow White and the Huntsman - $8 M ... $137.1 M 
6. Rock of Ages - $7.65 M ... $28.4 M 
7. That's My Boy -$7.63 M ... $27.9 M 
8. The Avengers - $7.1 M ... $598.4 M 
9. Men in Black III - $5.7 M ... $163.4 M 
10. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - $3.8 M ... $3.8 M

Prometheus saw another big drop to below $10 million this weekend, but it managed to cross the $100-million mark regardless and is doing strong internationally. So is Snow White and the Huntsman, now up to $137.1 million and nearly $300 million at large.

The third new film this weekend was Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which Focus Features limited to a release of just 1,625 theaters. It just squeezed into the Top 10 with $3.8 million, but it made for the lowest wide-release opening of Steve Carell's career, and he's one of the more reliable actors in terms of box office.

The other note is that The Avengers looks to cross $600 million domestic sometime this week. It looks like it will come up just short of Titanic's $658.6 million, but it will be only the third film to reach $600 million.

In the indie box office, Woody Allen made another big opening dent with his latest film, To Rome With Love. Earning $361,359 in just five theaters, the per-theater average of $72,272 is the director's third best ever behind Melinda and Melinda and last year's Midnight in Paris, with the latter likely being a direct cause.

Out next week is a mixed bag of four films that will each come out in at least 2,000 theaters. Universal's Ted from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane looks to clean out the sour taste of June's only other adult comedy, That's My Boy, in 3,000-plus theaters, while the hot dudes of Magic Mike led by Channing Tatum will be close behind trying to woo the ladies. Trying to appeal to indie and romance sensibilities is People Like Us starring Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pine, and finally she's back — Madea's Witness Protection fat suits-up in more than 2,000 theaters.


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