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How many box office hits can one studio make? An even better question: how many number one movies in a row can one studio release? This weekend Pixar launched Brave, a movie which has not only shown the studio can quickly and solidly bounce back from a critical flop (last year's disappointing Cars 2) but that it is still going strong with its thriteenth number one box office release in a row.
Granted, some of that is timing. If a Pixar project went up against something like Avengers it would easily fall short of number one, but part of being a smart studio is knowing how to release your movies at the optimal time. But you can't deny the studio knows how to tell a good story and that has kept audiences coming back consistently. Brave kept the streak alive with a solid $66 million debut.
Slightly less optimistic was the turn out for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Granted, the film probably wasn't expected to be the break out hit of the summer. The audience interested in seeing the rated 'R' telling of one of our nation's greatest leaders bounding off into the night after blood sucking fiends is likely to be a small one. But one would hope a studio pouring over to $80 million in production budget and advertising would think far enough down the road to make sure the cash flow would balance out the cost. Unfortunately this weekend didn't support that hope. With only $16 million the movie settled for a disappointing third place behind three weekend old Madagascar 3.
Despite major headliners like Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World crashed into theaters with just $3.8 million, just edging out Moonrise Kingdom for the number ten spot. While that's not an encouraging amount, it doesn't have far to go to recover its simple $10 million price tag.
While there were some individual disappointments this week, the overall turn out at the box office was strong. As we approach the middle of 2012 the year-to-date totals are the strongest ever. However, thanks to higher ticket prices (including ever-increasing 3D and IMAX surcharges) it still means fewer people are actually getting to the cinema.
For the full weekend break down, check out the chart below: