Lorax has it all over John Carter at box office

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Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures’ “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” did much bet­ter at the North Amer­i­can box office in its sec­ond week­end than did Disney’s John Carter in its first.

Accord­ing to stu­dio esti­mates Sun­day, the ani­mated Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax — based on the good doctor’s 1971 children’s book — was No. 1 for the week­end in a row, col­lect­ing $39.1 mil­lion. The film’s 10-day domes­tic total is now $122 mil­lion, mak­ing it the top-grossing movie released so far in 2012.

Domes­tic rev­enues dropped 44% from a week ear­lier, but another $1.4 mil­lion was raised inter­na­tion­ally by The Lorax over the week­end, bring­ing total cumu­lated world­wide sales to $123.7 million.

On the other hand, John Carter, com­bin­ing CGI ani­ma­tion with live action, opened in sec­ond place domes­ti­cally with $30.6 mil­lion. Report­edly, Dis­ney spent a humon­gous $250 mil­lion to make the science-fiction film, based on a novel by Edgar Rice Bur­roughs (Tarzan).

How­ever, the movie opened abroad in 55 coun­tries with $70.6 mil­lion for a world­wide total of $101.2 mil­lion this weekend.

Wall Street ana­lysts pre­dicted that Dis­ney would end up los­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars. On Fri­day, Ever­core Part­ners ana­lyst Alan Gould esti­mated a $165 mil­lion loss.

If you just take the domes­tic num­ber, it’s not a very pretty pic­ture,” said Paul Der­garabe­dian, ana­lyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. “But if you look at the world­wide open­ing week­end of a hun­dred mil­lion dol­lars, that’s pretty solid.”

We would have hoped for more, con­sid­er­ing the larger eco­nom­ics of the film, but are still encour­aged with how it’s been received by audi­ences that have seen it and hope to see that gen­er­ate pos­i­tive word of mouth for the bal­ance of the run,” said Dave Hol­lis, Disney’s head of distribution.

Dis­ney exec­u­tives also pointed out that domes­tic rev­enues for John Carter jumped 25% from open­ing day Fri­day until Sat­ur­day. This was an indi­ca­tion, they sayd, that movie­go­ers are rec­om­mend­ing the film to friends.

John Carter received 49% favor­able notices of the 170 reviews gath­ered on the Rottentomatoes.com film critic site. Audi­ences gave the movie a “B+” in polling by sur­vey firm CinemaScore.

In gen­eral, domes­tic busi­ness at the movies increased again over the same period last year. Total North Amer­i­can rev­enues reached $140.5 mil­lion, up 8.7% from the same week­end in 2011, Hollywood.com said. Domes­tic rev­enues have just exceeded $2 bil­lion so far this year, which is 18% more than the same period a year ago.

Ticket sales for Fri­day through Sun­day at United States and Cana­dian the­aters were released by Hollywood.com. Final domes­tic fig­ures are sched­uled for release Monday.

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