DreamWorks’ ‘Megamind’ Tops Weekend With $46 Million

The computer-animated “Megamind” was the top film at theaters in the U.S. and Canada, generating $46 million in sales for DreamWorks Animation Inc. and distributor Paramount Pictures.

“Due Date,” a comedy starring Robert Downey Jr., opened in second place with $32.7 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

“Megamind,” featuring the voices of Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell, is the third release this year from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation. The two previous movies, “How to Train Your Dragon,” with $217.6 million in domestic sales, and “Shrek Forever After,” with $238.4 million, also opened in first place, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.

“It’s taking advantage of the higher ticket prices on animated 3-D films,” said Gitesh Pandya, editor of New York- based Boxofficeguru.com. “It should continue to do well next weekend because kids’ movies usually have good legs. The big question is how it will hold up against the new Harry Potter film two weeks from now.”

In “Megamind,” a brilliant criminal voiced by Ferrell finally outwits superhero Metro Man, played by Pitt. In the wake of his victory, Megamind must decide how to respond to the arrival of a new, rival villain. The movie was released by Paramount, part of Sumner Redstone’s Viacom Inc. Of 100 reviews compiled by Rottentomatoes.com, 67 percent were positive.

‘Due Date’

Animated films have historically done well in competition with the Harry Potter franchise during the holiday movie season which began this past weekend, according to Pandya. He said “Megamind” may go on to make four times its opening weekend revenue. Time Warner Inc.’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I,” the seventh movie based on the novels by J.K. Rowling, opens on Nov. 19.

Warner Bros.’ “Due Date” stars Downey as a man trying to get home in time for the birth of his first child. After missing his flight, he hitches a ride with an aspiring actor played by “The Hangover” co-star Zach Galifianakis. Both movies are directed by Todd Phillips.

“It’s a very strong opening for an R-rated comedy, which rarely opens north of $30 million,” Pandya said. “But it will erode faster than ‘Hangover’ despite the star power because the word-of-mouth isn’t fantastic.”

‘For Colored Girls’

The weekend’s other new film opening in wide release, Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls,” took in $19.5 million for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. The film, directed by Perry, is based on the play by Ntozake Shange. Janet Jackson and Loretta Devine star.

The action comedy “Red” fell to fourth from third with sales of $8.7 million for Summit Entertainment LLC. The movie has taken in $71.7 million in four weeks of release.

“Saw 3-D,” the seventh of the torture movies featuring the killer Jigsaw, fell to fifth from first with $7.7 million for Lions Gate.

The weekend’s top 12 films grossed $146.9 million, up 34 percent from a year earlier, according to Hollywood.com. This year’s total increased to $8.97 billion, up 3.6 percent from a year earlier. Total attendance is down 1.6 percent.

“It’s a very strong way to kick off the holiday movie season,” Pandya said. “We had three movies, which appeal to different audiences, that all had solid openings, so it puts us in a good position to end up this year.”

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Nov. 5 through Nov. 7.

                     Rev.             Avg./    Pct.    Total
Movie               (mln) Theaters  Theater    Chg.    (mln) Wks
================================================================
1 MEGAMIND           46.0    3,944   11,668     --     46.0    1
2 DUE DATE           32.7    3,355    9,743     --     32.7    1
3 FOR COLORED GIRLS  19.5    2,127    9,167     --     19.5    1
4 RED                 8.7    3,229    2,679    -19     71.7    4
5 SAW 3-D             7.7    2,808    2,753    -68     38.3    2
6 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 7.0    3,168    2,221    -57     80.0    3
7 JACKASS 3-D         5.0    2,165    2,287    -42    110.7    4
8 SECRETARIAT         4.1    2,614    1,556    -19     51.0    5
9 HEREAFTER           4.0    2,365    1,696    -38     28.7    4
10 THE SOCIAL NETWORK 3.4    1,860    1,841    -24     84.9    6
11 LIFE AS WE KNOW IT 3.1    1,950    1,572    -24     48.5    5
12 CONVICTION         1.6      672    2,424    -11      4.8    4


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $142.8        $106.8       +34


Year-to-date Revenue

     2010          2009
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $8,969        $8,658       +3.6


Year-to-date Attendance:      -1.6%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Nikolaj Gammeltoft in New York at ngammeltoft@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net.

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