Madagascar 3 tops box office list
Madagascar 3's animated animals and Prometheus' space beasts have provided Hollywood with a huge weekend at the US box office.
The cuddly critters of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted led the weekend with a 60.4 million dollar debut, followed by a big opening for Ridley Scott's alien saga Prometheus at number two with 50 million, according to studio estimates.
DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar 3 was the family favourite for the weekend, reuniting voice stars Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer as the zoo animals who continue their travels by joining a circus.
The latest film outdid the 47.2 million debut of the 2005 original, though it came in behind the 63.1 million opening of the first sequel, 2008's Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
"It's the beloved characters and their comic adventures. And Madagascar 3 is critically the best-reviewed of the franchise. Both audiences and critics really love this one the most," said Anne Globe, head of marketing for DreamWorks Animation.
The movie also took in 75.5 million dollars internationally for a worldwide debut of 135.9 million.
Prometheus, from 20th Century Fox, stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron in an offshoot of director Scott's 1979 science-fiction horror tale Alien. Prometheus did big business despite an R rating, which can limit a movie's audience since fans under 17 must see it with an adult.
Conventional wisdom is that action films should come in with a PG-13 rating to cast the widest net possible for its audience.
"A 50 million dollar weekend disproves that rule, for sure," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox. "This movie is so special. It's visually stunning, great storytelling as Ridley is known for."
The movie added 39.2 million dollars overseas, bringing its international total to 91.5 million and its worldwide take to 141.5 million since it began rolling out in some markets a week earlier.