Prometheus narrowly topped the box office on Friday, though with family-friendly days ahead Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted seems well-positioned to take the weekend prize. Both movies opened very strong, though, and are each headed to at least $50 million for the three-day frame.
Prometheus opened to an estimated $21.4 million on Friday, which is the 10th-highest opening day ever for an R-rated movie. Impressively, it was about even with Inception's $21.8 million debut, and it crushed District 9 ($14.2 million) and Super 8 ($12.1 million). It also had the highest opening day tally for a movie in the Alien franchise, though it's about on par with Alien Vs. Predator adjusting for ticket price inflation. The Ridley Scott sci-fi flick should wind up with somewhere between $55 and $57 million for the weekend.
Madagascar 3 scored $20.45 million from 4,258 locations yesterday. That's higher than Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa's $17.6 million debut, and it's way above the first Madagascar's $13.9 million. In fact, it even edged past the first Kung Fu Panda ($20.3 million) to claim the highest opening day gross ever for a non-Shrek DreamWorks Animation movie. If Madagascar 3 follows the pattern of Cars 2 and Toy Story 3, it will wind up in second place with $53 to $55 million for the weekend; however, if it lines up with Kung Fu Panda it takes first place with over $60 million.
Madagascar 3's audience on Friday was 56 percent female and 54 percent under the age of 25, and they awarded the movie a strong "A" CinemaScore.
After its very strong opening last weekend, Snow White and the Huntsman got pummeled in its second outing. The movie dropped 63 percent to an estimated $7.5 million, and it's now earned just under $83 million.
MIB 3 fell 48 percent to $4.2 million, which brings its total to $126.2 million. That trails Men in Black II's 15-day total of $141 million, and there's no chance MIB 3 winds up anywhere close to the second entry's $190.4 million final tally.
The Avengers rounded out the Top Five with $3.26 million, which is off 42 percent from last Friday. The box office sensation has so far earned $564.3 million, and still has a chance at reaching $600 million before the end of its run.
Moonrise Kingdom expanded to 96 locations and moved in to 10th place with an estimated $455,000. That translates to a decent $4,470 per-theater average, and the movie has now earned $2.63 million.