Since kicking off its run of not-quite-Pixar-but-it’ll-do animated hits with Ice Age in 2002, Blue Sky Studios, Fox’s CGI animation arm, has separated just-enthusiastic-enough families from their entertainment dollar with remarkable consistency. It’s first five features—three Ice Age movies, Robots, and Horton Hears A Who!—have grossed a minimum of a quarter-billion dollars worldwide, and with Rio, its totally-okay Brazilian birdie adventure, the hits would appear to keep on coming. With a healthy $40 million, Rio scored the highest weekend gross of any film released so far this year. That left Scre4m, the first Scream movie in 11 years, to slip quietly into second place with $19.3 million, a decent number by horror sequel standards, but hardly the bonanza some expected of this venerable series. On far fewer screens—707 to be exact—Robert Redford’s The Conspirator bored audiences to the tune of $3.9 million for ninth place, suggesting that history and civics lessons along the lines of it and Redford’s last bomb, Lions For Lambs, are not quickening the pulses of the American moviegoing public.
In limited release, the free market has responded to Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, and that response is: Meh. On 300 screens, it earned about what The Conspirator did on 707 screens, averaging a mediocre $5,590 for a grand total of $1.68 million. This disappoints us slightly, not because we’re Tea Partiers, but because we weren’t able to use the line, “Atlas Shrugged has the momentum of a runaway train.” Though it was produced for only $10 million and may recoup that money down the line, the numbers don’t bode well for Part II and Part III, unless its financiers are feeling altruistic—which we know most definitely are not. On the other hand, the series should pick up in excitement once it gets to Mordor.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.