The Lorax Box Office

March 4, 2012 by staff 

The Lorax Box Office, In a year in which one movie after another has surpassed industry expectations, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax just blew the roof off.

According to studio estimates, Universal’s CG-animated film harvested $70.7 million this weekend, breaking a number of records in the process. First, it easily scored the best opening of the year so far, trouncing The Vow ($41.2 million).

The Lorax had the strongest opening ever for a Dr. Seuss adaptation, topping How the Grinch Stole Christmas‘ $55.1 debut in 2000. Finally, if the estimate holds, the movie will have earned the sixth best debut ever for an animated feature, beating both The Incredibles ($70.5 million) and Finding Nemo ($70.3 million). And if one discounts sequels, then The Lorax had the second-best opening among animated fare, behind only The Simpsons Movie ($74 million).

Going into the weekend, most industry prognosticators (myself included) were predicting The Lorax to debut to around $50 million. Clearly we didn’t realize just how much of a box-office juggernaut the little tree-loving creature would be. Credit must be given to Universal, which launched an omnipresent marketing campaign that included more than 70 global partners.

 And the production company Illumination Entertainment has proved it’s a force to be reckoned with, having now gone three-for-three after the success of Despicable Me and Hop. That track record is especially impressive considering that all three of those movies were made on relatively modest budgets — The Lorax cost $70 million to produce.

Unsurprisingly, The Lorax thrived thanks to family audiences. Universal reports that 68 percent of the audience consisted of parents attending with children under the age of 13. The box-office data itself also suggests a huge family presence, as the PG-rated movie jumped 80 percent from Friday to Saturday. The Lorax picked up an “A” rating from CinemaScore moviegoers, suggesting that it should benefit from positive word of mouth in the weeks to come.

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