Holiday 2014 Forecast: 'Penguins of Madagascar'
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Penguins of Madagascar

Release Date: November 26th (3D)

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Genre: Animation

Director: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith

Writers: John Aboud, Michael Colton, Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Brandon Sawyer

Cast: Voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Peter Stormare, John Malkovich, Tom McGrath,

Studio Description: Super spy teams aren't born...they're hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but know). Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, from destroying the world as we know it.

Analysis: DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar franchise has been its most reliable brand outside of the Shrek series: the third installment, 2012's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, is also the highest-grossing with $216.4 million.

Instead of continuing on with a fourth outing, DreamWorks opted to spin off the popular penguin characters in to their own movie. Titled Penguins of Madagascar, the spin-off finds the penguins embroiled in some sort of international espionage, which includes a run in with a special agent voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.

This spin-off strategy is similar to what DreamWorks Animation did with Puss in Boots back in 2011. That movie was off 36 percent from its predecessor (Shrek the Fourth); if Penguins of Madagascar has a similar drop, it will wind up at just under $140 million.

While the penguin characters may be more central to the success of the Madagascar franchise, the movie also faces tough competition on both sides: Big Hero 6 will have taken up a lot of family business earlier in the month, and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Annie and Into the Woods arrive in late December.

A drop similar to Puss in Boots—perhaps a bit more—seems to be a fair expectation for Penguins of Madagascar.

Forecast: $135 million

Similar Movies: Puss in Boots, Madagascar, Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Kung Fu Panda 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Megamind, Bee Movie, Rise of the Guardians, Flushed Away, Tangled, Frozen

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