This past weekend was very good at the box office, and that was nice, because the box office needed some good.
Most importantly, two films found big success, not just one. “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” topped the weekend, as expected, bringing in $60.35 million as family fare audiences marched to the multiplex.
At the same time director Ridley Scott’s return to science fiction, “Prometheus,” brought in $50 million, making it the 12th-highest opening ever for an R-rated film. Being as how “Madagascar” opened in nearly 1,000 more theaters than “Prometheus,” that’s quite a feat.
Meanwhile, in its second week of release “Snow White and the Huntsman” took in $23 million, bringing it just shy of $100 million total. And “Men in Black III” rose to $135 million total, while “Marvel’s “The Avengers” passed $571 million. That’s $571 million!
And, oh yeah, “The Hunger Games,” which has been in theaters for 80 days, passed $400 million this weekend.
As a result, the total box office was up 30 percent from the same weekend last year.
The really good news for Hollywood, though, is that the audience love is being spread around. A report last week theorized that out of all the movies released in May, only “Marvel’s The Avengers,” the indie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and possibly “Men in Black III” would turn a profit. Everything else — “Battleship,” “Dark Shadows,” “What to Expect,” etc — was a bust, often a big bust.
That may or may not turn out to be true, but it’s undeniable that the summer so far has been mainly about “Marvel’s The Avengers.” Now the cash is starting to flow down a number of streams.