He is the Lorax, and he speaks for the trees, and this weekend he said, “Leave those trees be, please, cram the kids into your SUVs (Mazdas get 35 MPG!) and come watch me in 3-D. Disregard the inflated fees, and smug critics making tiresome, faux-Seussian mockeries like these: I’m rated PG, so what else are your kids going to see? The Secret World Of Arrietty? Please. Not fucking likely.” And so the parents gathered their kids dutifully, and brought them to the movie about environmental responsibility—the one the Lou Dobbs-ler had chopped down on TV, huffing and puffing about “green energy policy,” never mind some questionable corporate accessories in the film’s cross-promotional strategy. Or, that it’s empty and goofy and has more filler songs than an episode of Glee—which, combined with its cookie-cutter cartoon tomfoolery, was enough to make it 2012’s biggest new movie, obviously, with The Lorax taking $70.7 million in appropriately green currency. And seeing as it’s the only big family film for the next week or three, you can expect it to rake in plenty more money.

No less inconsequential but less given to belabored rhyme schemes, the weekend’s second-biggest take belonged to Project X, the found-footage film which promotes its own insidious liberal agenda of free high-school pussy for everyone. And despite an R-rating that precludes the very age group that would see its apocalyptic bro-down without immediately wishing to see everyone on screen get tazed, the movie still managed to rack up a solid $20.78 million—pushing the similarly all-amateur ensemble Act Of Valor down to third place after that film saw a 44 percent drop, which suggests that American is done thinking about the world’s problems and ready to get its outlandishly contrived freak on.


Elsewhere it was more bad news for Wanderlust and Gone, which saw respective slides into eleventh and twelfth place in their second weeks. Meanwhile, the extremely limited releases of Being Flynn (four theaters), Boy, and The Salt Of Life (both in two theaters) all pulled decent numbers, considering, with each earning around $11,000 per screen. And as predicted, The Artist saw a 34-percent jump all the way up to tenth place, raising its grand total to $37 million after being named 2011’s Best Picture, and thanks to a new marketing campaign in which a narrator explains the entire movie for you using Heartwarming Voice™ and impresses upon you the obligation to see it now.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.