3D cartoon "Megamind" animates box office

Sun Nov 7, 2010 2:55pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Megamind" led the North American box office to its best weekend in more than three months on Sunday, but the $47.7 million opening for the DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc release fell a little short of industry forecasts.

Observers had predicted the 3D cartoon about a hapless supervillain would earn more than $50 million during its first three days of release across the United States and Canada. But the studio's March release "How to Train a Dragon" also underperformed initially before becoming a worldwide smash.

Also new were the comedy "Due Date" at No. 2 with $33.5 million, and the drama "For Colored Girls" at No. 3 with $20.1 million, both in line with expectations.

The three newcomers accounted for most of the $146 million total for the top 12 movies, according to the box office division of Hollywood.com. It marks the highest tally since July 23-25, when reigning champion "Inception" drove sales to $155 million.

"Megamind" revolves around a hapless criminal voiced by Will Ferrell, and is not to be confused with the recent hit cartoon "Despicable Me," which revolved around a hapless criminal voiced by Steve Carell.

The film's early international total, from No. 1 openings in Russia, Ukraine, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, stands at $18.6 million. The studio will release the film to tie in with school holidays in individual markets, although "Despicable Me" is still playing strongly internationally.


DreamWorks Animation said "Megamind" performed to its expectations and it was confident that the film would hold up well through the holidays. It noted that the film received a bullish A-minus score in exit polls conducted by tracking firm Cinemascore. Costs were in line with recent releases: $130 million for production, and $160 million for global marketing.

By way of comparison, "How To Train Your Dragon," the studio's previous non-sequel, opened to $44 million, and the studio's share price fell 8 percent the following Monday. But the movie displayed strong staying power, ending up with $218 million domestically and $276 million internationally.   Continued...

<p>Cast members (L-R) Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, and Ben Stiller arrive for the premiere of the film "Megamind" in New York November 3, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>