John Carter had a tough start domestically this weekend, but the film's international launch was far more impressive.

‘The Lorax’ Tops ‘John Carter’ to Remain #1

on March 12, 2012 by Daniel Garris

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax grossed $38.85 million this weekend to lead the box office for a second straight frame. The successful 3D computer animated film from Universal and Illumination Entertainment did fall a noteworthy 45 percent in the process, but still had a very strong second weekend given the size of the gross itself. The second weekend hold for The Lorax was on par with the 45 percent decline 2008's Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who! experienced in its second weekend of release. With a ten-day take of $121.72 million, The Lorax is currently running an impressive 41.5 percent ahead of the pace of Horton Hears A Who! The Lorax already ranks as the year's highest grossing release so far domestically, as it overtook Sony's The Vow for first place over the weekend.

Disney's John Carter debuted in second place with $30.18 million. While that was on the high end of pre-release expectations, it was still a very disappointing domestic start given the film's massive $250 million production budget and franchise hopes. In comparison to previous March releases aimed at the fanboy audience (albeit much less expensive ones without the aid of 3D surcharges), John Carter opened 18 percent stronger than 2006's V for Vendetta ($25.64 million) and 16 percent softer than 2008's 10,000 B.C. ($35.87 million). The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards males (63 percent) and moviegoers over 25 (59 percent). Screenings in 3D and IMAX 3D were responsible for 64 percent of the film's grosses (with IMAX 3D being responsible for 16 percent by itself). John Carter did hold up reasonably well throughout the weekend, as it registered an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.08 to 1. While John Carter isn't playing like a family film, that ratio does suggest that there is a family component to the film's audience.

On a more positive note, John Carter was much stronger internationally where it grossed $70.6 million this weekend. However, it should also be noted that Disney estimates that the 55 foreign territories the film opened in represented 80 percent of the total international market. With that in mind there is the possibility the film's international performance could be a front-loaded one. Nonetheless, this weekend's international start was welcome news and places the film's worldwide launch at $100.8 million.

Warner's Project X claimed third place with $11.14 million. The low budget R-rated comedy fell a respectable 47 percent from last weekend's debut. Project X has grossed $39.72 million in ten days, thanks in part to strong Spring Break aided midweek grosses this past week. The film is currently running 42 percent ahead of the pace of 2010's Hot Tub Time Machine, which fell 42 percent in its second weekend of release.

Neither of the weekend's other two wide releases were able to make an impact this weekend. Open Road's ultra-low budget Silent House took fifth place with $6.66 million, while Paramount's long delayed Eddie Murphy vehicle A Thousand Words followed in sixth with $6.18 million. While Silent House had the higher expectations of the two heading into the weekend (thanks in part to high levels of pre-release online chatter), A Thousand Words was the far more expensive of the two films. Expect both films to fade away from theatres very quickly.

On the limited front Roadside's Friends with Kids debuted with a very solid $2.02 million from just 369 locations. That gave the ensemble comedy a per-location average of $5,467. Meanwhile, in platform release CBS Films' Salmon Fishing in the Yemen grossed $225,894 from only 18 locations. That gave the adaptation starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt a per-location average of $12,550.

Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.

Tags: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Friends with Kids, A Thousand Words, Silent House, Project X, John Carter, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

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