"Megamind" cartoon eyes mega-debut at box office

Fri Nov 5, 2010 3:08am EDT
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Megamind" should make mega-bucks at the box office starting Friday.

The DreamWorks Animation comedy is on track to sell more than $50 million worth of tickets across the United States and Canada during its first three days, with core family support joined by 3D-animation fans and date-movie couples.

Though likely to fall short of the $70.8 million debut in May for the studio's "Shrek Forever After," "Megamind" should open considerably north of the relatively disappointing $43.7 million bow for its "How to Train Your Dragon" in March. Those 3D animated releases went on to domestic runs of $238.4 million and $217.6 million, respectively, so the leggy nature of 3D releasing also bodes well for "Megamind."

The voice cast for the $140 million project features Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill and Tina Fey. Tom McGrath ("Madagascar") directed.

"Our tracking indicates Megamind will appeal to families and kids, and we've done our best to position it as the 3D event film for this weekend and throughout the holiday season," DreamWorks Animation marketing chief Anne Globe said. "That said, there are two other wide releases debuting."

That pair boasts more modest -- but still substantial -- box-office ambitions.

"Due Date," a Warner Bros. comedy starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, should fetch $30 million or so through Sunday. Lionsgate's Tyler Perry-directed drama "For Colored Girls" could collect $20 million in its first three days.

"Due Date" targets younger adults and should skew a bit male in the fashion of director Todd Phillips' 2009 hit "The Hangover," a $45 million opener that went on to rake in $227 million domestically.   Continued...