The Lorax's opening was noticeably higher than Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! ($13.3 million), though it was less than Despicable Me's $21.3 million. Still, based on the track-record of previous March animated movies The Lorax should top Despicable Me's $56.4 million weekend opening.
Project X also performed well with an estimated $8.17 million second place start. That's a bit lower than Chronicle's $8.6 million opening last month, though in one day it topped the total grosses of recent party movies Take Me Home Tonight ($6.93 million) and College ($4.7 million). For the weekend, Project X should wind up with over $20 million.
Last weekend's winner Act of Valor plummeted 58 percent to an estimated $3.8 million. The action flick, starring active-duty Navy SEALs, has made $35.3 million through its first eight days.
Safe House and The Vow continued to rake in the dough on Friday. Safe House dipped 40 percent to $1.9 million for a total of $102.9 million, while The Vow fell 43 percent to $1.85 million. The Vow is currently the highest-grossing movie of 2012 with $107.5 million.
As is typical for Tyler Perry movies, Good Deeds was off a huge 65 percent to an estimated $1.85 million. So far, the drama has only made $20.6 million, and it will end up being one of Perry's lowest-grossing movies ever.
Following its five Oscar wins, The Artist expanded to 1,756 locations and jumped 27 percent to $938,000. The black-and-white silent movie has so far grossed $34.1 million, and it still has plenty of money left to earn before it wraps up its run.
• Weekend Forecast: Box Office Be Warned - 'The Lorax' Set for Huge Debut
• Grosses for Friday, March 2, 2012