20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios, which produced the critical and box office hit “Ice Age,” score again with their second collaboration “Robots.” It topped the box office with an estimated $36.5M over the weekend. It didn’t break the March opening record of $46.3M set by their previous film “Ice Age,” but it did come in second best. It looks like this is the month for Fox and Blue Sky to launch their animated collaborations. This strong opening also establishes Blue Sky as the third successful animation studio, following Pixar (“The Incredibles”) and PDI (“Shrek”).
“Robots” has moderately good reviews – 64% on the Tomatometer. According to critics, it delights on a visual level, but the story feels like it came off an assembly line. In comparison, “Ice Age” measured 77% on the Tomatometer.
“Hostage” continues Bruce Willis’s career slide with an estimated $9.8M, placing 4th. It didn’t make much of an impression with critics either, measuring 31% on the Tomatometer. Grisly and cliched, critics think audiences may feel they’re being held “Hostage.”
Oddly enough, Miramax Films chose to open “Hostage” just weeks before the much hyped “Sin City,” also starring Bruce Willis and produced by their genre arm, Dimension Films. Maybe they thought “Hostage” would be a good warm-up to “Sin City.”
The re-cut version of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” played to mostly empty theaters and failed to crack the top 10. The film only managed a measly $225,000 in nearly 1000 theaters. There goes Mel’s plan to re-release the film every March.
Last Friday’s chart topper, “The Pacifier,” got bummed off the top spot to 2nd place with an estimated $18M, a healthy 41% drop-off from the previous weekend. It’s total after two weeks is an excellent $54.4M.
“Be Cool” finished third with with an estimated $10.3M, an un-cool 56% drop-off from the previous weekend. It’s total after two weeks is $38.4M. It’ll probably end its run in the $53-57M range, well below the $72.1M total for “Get Shorty.”
In 5th place is “Hitch” with a leggy $8.7M, off just 28% from the previous weekend. That’s the lowest drop-off for films in the top 10. It’s total so far is an impressive $149.8M after five weeks of release. It’s already Will Smith’s 4th best, behind “Independence Day” and the two “Men in Black” films.
Rounding out the rest of the top 12 are “Million Dollar Baby” in 6th with $5M ($84M total), “Diary of a Mad, Black Woman” in 7th with $5M ($44.1M), “Constantine” in 8th with $3.7M (66.3M total), “Man of the House” in 9th with $1.8M ($16.6M total), “Cursed” in 10th with $1.6M ($17.6M total), “The Aviator” in 11th with $1.4M ($99M total), and “Because of Winn-Dixie” in 12th with $1.35M ($28.9M).
Overall, the total gross for the top 12 films this weekend was off just less than 1% from the same period last year when “The Passion of the Christ” topped the charts for the third weekend in row with $32.1M. Compared to last weekend, it’s 5.4% less.