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The family market continued to deliver on Friday as 20th Century Fox’s Ice Age: Continental Drift gained strength throughout the day.
Ice Age 4 — earning an pleasing A- CinemaScore — topped the domestic box office with $16.5 million, putting it on course for a $44 million to $46 million weekend.
That’s in line with two of the three previous installments in the Ice Age franchise, but lower than the $66.3 million debut of Disney/Pixar’s Brave three weeks ago or the $60.3 million debut of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted five weeks ago.
The crowded family marketplace was one of the reasons why Fox was predicting an opening in the $38 million to $40 million range heading into the weekend.
For much of Friday, Fox and other studios had a difficult time assessing how Ice Age 4 and other films were doing because of problems at Rentrak, the service that reports box office grosses.
Ice Age 4 is already a hit overseas, where it has earned north of $225 million and should finish the weekend with an international cume of $300 million. In the U.S., the film is doing particularly well in Hispanic markets, as have other titles in the series.
In addition to Ice Age regulars Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah and Denis Leary, Ice Age 4 features a number of new additions to its voice cast, including Jennifer Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Keke Palmer and Piolin, all of whom should provide an added draw for Hispanics and African-Americans, as well as teens across all demographics.
Fox’s marketing campaign heavily leveraged the new talent, as well as the film’s setting on the high seas.
Coming in No. 2 on Friday was Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man, which grossed $10.3 million for a North American cume of $176.2 million. The reboot should earn north of $32 million of the weekend domestically.
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