Saturday, April 01, 2006

"Ice Age 2" - The Opening Weekend

"Ice Age" opened several years back without huge fanfare. It went on to break box office records, and Fox's box office expectations... "Ice Age" went on to gross close to $50 million in its opening frame, and then it... well, click on the title above for more details. Two Blue Sky staffers told me that Fox was relatively "iffy" about the first "Ice Age"...until a fragment of the feature was screened in Europe to overwhelming response. And then, whattayaknow? Execs on the Fox lot started falling all over themselves taking credit. (What was it JFK said? "Success has a thousand fathers, but failure is an orphan.") But this post isn't about past glories of the Murdoch empire. It's focused on how "Ice Age 2" performs. To that end, we'll come back for updates throughout the weekend. Box Office Mojo predicts a $54.1 million three-day opening. We'll see if BOM is right... Update 1 (4/1): Per BOM, the estimate for Friday alone is $21.7 million, which is, frankly, huge. The streak of successful big-budget CG films (and successful sequels) appears safe. Congrats to the Blue Sky crew! Update 2 (4/2): The weekend estimate is $70.5 million -- almost double the opening weekend of "Robots"! Initial estimates are often high, but even if that gets adjusted down when the real numbers are out tomorrow, it's amazing. Domestically produced cgi animated features have been red hot over the past several years...and don't seem to be cooling off. Foreign cgi fare? Ah...not so much. We get to see how the next outsourced animated feature performs when Disney releases "The Wild" -- produced by Toronto-based c.o.r.e feature animation -- on April 14th. (My fifteen-year-old, a fanatical 'toon fan, describes "The Wild" as "'Madagascar' meets 'Finding Nemo'.") Update 3 (4/3): Official weekend numbers are in -- $68 million. Compare that with "The Incredibles" ($70.5 million), "Finding Nemo" ($70.2), and "Monster's Inc." ($62.7). Smells like a blockbuster to us. Update 4 (4/9): Despite an approximately 50% drop in its second weekend, "Ice Age 2" was again #1 by a wide margin, with $33.8 million. It's up to $116 mill domestically (in 10 days), and $55.5 million overseas. It's the #1 film of the year so far by a wide margin.


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