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Weekend Box-Office: March 2-4, 2012

03.04.2012

Lotsa Love for the Lorax!

There was clearly a lot of anticipation for another of Dr. Seuss' colorful children's classics to come alive (or the 3D computer-generated approximation of life). THE LORAX spoke for the Truffula trees and a whole lot more as it opened to $70.7 million this weekend, making back its reported production cost in just three days. The vibrant environmental family flick (from the makers of DESPICABLE ME and HOP) not only marked the highest opening of the year, but also the best for a Seuss adaptation (the live-action GRINCH was the previous champ with a $55M opening).

While the kiddies (and their parents) mobilized for the little orange creature with the huge mustache and the voice of Danny Devito, older crowds turned out for the teen debauchery of PROJECT X. The R-rated "found footage" comedy produced by Todd Phillips (THE HANGOVER) and Joel Silver (LETHAL WEAPONs, etc.) partied hard to the tune of $20M, quite the wicked rager considering the meager budget and complete lack of recognizable faces.

America's fighting force kept the targets in their sights, as last weekend's winner ACT OF VALOR held on fairly strong with another $13.7M, bringing the Navy SEALs' explosive total up to $45.2M after ten days in theaters.

Meanwhile, SAFE HOUSE, JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and THE VOW continue to swap spots on the chart. This weekend, adult audiences took the lead as Denzel's action-thriller SAFE HOUSE and last week's #2 TYLER PERRY'S GOOD DEEDS narrowly edged out The Rock and company. That said, at the moment THE VOW is the highest grossing release of 2012 (!!) with $111 million. But that will undoubtedly change with some expected blockbusters arriving in the next two or three weeks...

After nearly four months in release, THE ARTIST used the momentum from its Oscar wins to sneak into the Top 10 for the first time. The movie took advantage of the added attention by expanding onto another 800 or so screens and grabbed $3.9M (although it still has one of the lowest per-screen averages on the chart, with only THE VOW and GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE taking in less per-screen). And WANDERLUST and GONE quickly (but expectedly) disappeared after one week to make some room on the list.

Next weekend, we start to see the year's major releases as Disney's big-budget live-action adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' JOHN CARTER (formerly OF MARS) bounds into theaters from Pixar director Andrew Stanton (WALL-E). Battling for attention will be the horror movie SILENT HOUSE and Eddie Murphy's comedy A THOUSAND WORDS, which finally gets released after sitting on a shelf for a few years.

Without "of Mars", the movie is just called JOHN CARTER. What's your favorite movie titled only with a person's first and last name? VOTE HERE!

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# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. The Lorax $70.7 M
NEW
2. Project X $20.7 M
NEW
3. Act of Valor $13.7 M $45.2 M
4. Safe House $7.2 M $108.2 M
5. Tyler Perry's Good Deeds $7 M $25.7 M
6. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island $6.9 M $85.6 M
7. The Vow $6.1 M $111 M
8. This Means War $5.6 M $41.4 M
9. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance $4.7 M $44.8 M
10. The Artist $3.9 M $37 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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