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'Prometheus' Barely Beats 'Madagascar 3' To Lead Box Office

Things are heating up in the race to top the box office this weekend. Prometheus was able to edge out Dreamworks’ animation Madagascar 3 after all the sales were in this morning. Both movies are in a very strong position to hit that $50 million mark in the three day time period.

Prometheus opened to an estimated $21.4 million on Friday. That put the film at the 10th highest opening day for any R-rated movie. It also had the highest opening for the Alien franchise, next to follow is Alien Vs Predator, which made $38.2 million its opening weekend. Prometheus was only given a “B” CinemaScore from audience, but is estimated to make between $55 and $57 million for the weekend.

Madagascar 3 performed just below Prometheus at $20.45 million from 4,258 locations. That’s better than Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa’s $17.6 million opening day and well above the first Madagascar film, which opened with $13.9 million. With this opening, Madagascar 3 is second to Shrek for highest opening day for an animation movie for Dreamworks.  Audiences gave the film an “A” CinemaScore and put Dreamworks right on track to hit their projected $60 million after the weekend.

Below is Deadline’s Top Ten list based on Friday’s estimated North American grosses:

1. Prometheus (Fox) NEW [3,396 Theaters] R
Friday $21.4M, Weekend $55M

2. Madagascar 3 (DreamWorks Anim/Paramount) NEW [4,258 Theaters] PG
Friday $20.4M, Weekend $61M

3. Snow White & The Huntsman (Universal) Week 2 [3,777 Theaters] PG13
Friday $7.3M (-64%), Weekend $23M, Cume $98.5M

4. Men In Black 3 (Sony) Week 3 [3,792 Theaters] PG13
Friday $4.3M, Weekend $15M, Cume $137M

5. The Avengers (Marvel/Disney) Week 6 [3,129 Theaters] PG13
Friday $3.3M, Weekend $12M, Cume $573M

6. Best Exotic Marigold (Fox Searchlight) Week 6 [1,298 Theaters] PG13
Friday $874K, Weekend $3.1M, Cume $30.9M

7. What To Expect When (Lionsgate) Week 4 [2,087 Theaters] PG13
Friday $850K, Weekend $2.7M, Cume $35.7

8. Battleship (Universal) Week 4 [1,954 Theaters] PG13
Friday $700K, Weekend $2.4M, Cume $60.0M

9. The Dictator (Paramount) Week 4 [1,651 Theaters] R
Friday $625K, Weekend $2.0M, Cume $50.1M

10. Dark Shadows (Warner Bros) Week 5 [1,550 Theaters] PG13
Friday $425K, Weekend $1.5M, Cume $73.9M

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