Five $50 Million Debuts Propel June Business
Even with five movies opening to over $50 million, June 2012 wasn't quite strong enough to set a new record. Domestic box office revenues for the month added up to $1.055 billion, which is an improvement over last June but down from the record $1.087 billion tallied in June 2009.

This was the first month ever to turn out five debuts north of $50 million. The best one came from Brave ($66.3 million), followed by Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted ($60.3 million), Snow White and the Huntsman ($56.2 million), Ted ($54.4 million) and Prometheus ($51.05 million).

The biggest movie of the month was Madagascar 3, which earned $176.5 million during its first 23 days in theaters. On the first day of July, it eclipsed its predecessor's $180.01 million total, and it's on pace to easily pass the first Madagascar's $193.6 million total as well. With strong foreign numbers rolling in as well, this franchise is clearly still very healthy, and it's easy to imagine the characters turning up in a fourth installment (I hear Asia is a great place to set movies these days).

Surprisingly, Snow White and the Huntsman claimed second place in June with $144.3 million (it opened on the first of the month, though, which gave it the largest window of any of the releases). Its no Lord of the Rings for sure, but its on pace for a final tally around $155 million, which is admirable for this revisionist fairy tale. In comparison, the most recent Narnia movie and Universal's Robin Hood only earned $104.4 million and $105.3 million, respectively.

Through nine days in theaters, Disney/Pixar's Brave grossed $121.4 million. That's right in between Up ($124 million) and WALL-E ($117.3 million), which shows just how consistent the Pixar brand is. The movie will cruise well past $200 million before the end of its run, making it the 10th Pixar movie to reach that milestone.

Prometheus started strong with a $51.05 million debut, but cratered quickly thanks to front-loaded interest and unenthusiastic word-of-mouth. As a result, it only wound up in fourth place for the month with $116.7 million. It should close around $130 million, which is good for an "original" sci-fi movie but doesn't come close to matching the astronomical forecasts that were accompanying this movie ahead of release.

Holdovers MIB 3 and The Avengers took fifth and sixth place in June with $85.8 million and $72.7 million, respectively. The third installment in the Men in Black franchise will be the lowest-grossing entry in the series domestically with less than $180 million, but worldwide it's tops with over $600 million. Meanwhile, June was the month that The Avengers became only the third movie ever to pass $600 million at the domestic box office.

June's final big success story was Ted, which earned $38.5 million through its first two days in theaters. Based on the way its holding at this point, Ted could wind up near $200 million, making it one of the highest-grossing original comedies ever.

As always, there were a handful of major disappointments in June. Rock of Ages and That's My Boy both had big stars (Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler), but looked too lame to generate much attention. Rock of Ages earned a measly $34.2 million, while That's My Boy grabbed just $33.7 million. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter only grossed $27.2 million in its first nine day (and its fading fast), while Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was even worse with just $6.3 million.

Total box office in the second quarter (April-June) of 2012 was $2.8 billion, which is down slightly (1.3 percent) from the same period last year ($2.84 billion). Year-to-date box office remains up, though: at $5.41 billion, it's tracking 9.6 percent above the first half of 2011, and up 0.9 percent from the same period in 2010.

Through the end of June, Disney was the top-grossing studio with $949.8 million thanks mostly to The Avengers and Brave. Sometime in the first weekend of July, it will become the first studio to cross the $1 billion mark in 2012. Universal took second place with $776.7 million, while Sony wasn't far behind at $757.9 million.

Warner Bros. has had a quiet year so far with $615.5 million, though The Dark Knight Rises should help it catch up with the leaders over the next month or two. Thanks to the incredible performance of The Hunger Games Lionsgate ranks fifth for the year with $592.3 million. That's ahead of bigger studios Paramount and 20th Century Fox, who have been the noticeable slouches so far this year. After moving many tentpoles out of the 2012, Paramount is only at $520.4 million so far, while Fox is at a meager $489.4 million through the end of June.

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