Universal’s ‘Snow White’ Tops Box Office With $56 Million

“Snow White and the Huntsman,” Universal Pictures’s action-adventure take on the classic fairy tale, led the U.S. and Canadian box office over the weekend, taking in $56.3 million in sales and knocking “Men in Black 3” out of the top spot.

Sony Corp.’s “Men in Black 3,” last week’s No. 1 movie, dropped to second place with sales of $29.3 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The weekend’s only other new film in wide release, “For Greater Glory,” was 10th with $1.8 million.

Universal, controlled by Philadephia-based Comcast Corp., is looking for a hit after its $209 million action film “Battleship,” based on the Hasbro Inc.’s board game, bombed with audiences. Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts on June 1 called the alien-invasion movie “an unfortunate miss” that will contribute to a negative second quarter for NBC Universal.

“For Universal, this is a good opening weekend and takes some of the hit from the disappointing results of ‘Battleship,”’ said Paul Sweeney, a media and entertainment analyst for Bloomberg Industries. “What you’re seeing from Hollywood more than before is a focus on franchise movies and sequels because those are the movies that play well globally.”

Universal Pictures, before the weekend, ranked third in 2012 box-office sales with $597.2 million in domestic sales. Walt Disney Co. was first with $742.7 million and Sony was second with $641.1 million, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.

‘Men in Black 3’

“Snow White,” a dark retelling of the story about a jealous, aging queen’s plot against a young beauty, stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Chris Hemsworth as the hunter who helps her. Charlize Theron portrays the queen who preys on the young women as a means of preserving her own beauty.

The film was forecast by Boxoffice.com to generate $42 million in opening-weekend sales.

The 3-D “Men in Black 3” stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as special agents charged with managing Earth’s secret alien population. Smith’s character, Agent J, travels back in time to prevent a villain’s attempt to change history. To accomplish his mission, he must work with a younger version of Jones’s character, played by Josh Brolin.

Walt Disney Co.’s superhero film “Marvel’s the Avengers” was third with $20.3 million. The movie has taken in $553 million in domestic sales and $1.36 billion since it opened on May 4.

‘For Greater Glory’

“Battleship” dropped to fourth place with $4.81 million in sales. The film has taken in $55.1 million in domestic sales since opening in the U.S. on May 18. The film, made for about $209 million, stars Taylor Kitsch as a U.S. Navy officer who helps lead a sea battle against invading aliens.

“The Dictator” fell to fifth with $4.73 million. The film, from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, features Sacha Baron Cohen as the oppressive, all-powerful ruler of a North African nation who is replaced by an impostor during a visit to the U.S. Ben Kingsley co-stars.

Tenth place’s “For Greater Glory,” from Arc Entertainment, is about Mexican Catholics’ 1920s revolt against government restrictions on religion. It features Andy Garcia and Peter O’Toole.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films fell 12 percent to $135.5 million, Hollywood.com said. Domestic film sales this year have risen 10 percent to $4.46 billion, with attendance up 12 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for June 1 and June 2 and estimates for yesterday.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
1 SNOW WHITE HUNTSMAN  $56.3   3,773  $14,910   --    $56.3   1
2 MEN IN BLACK 3        29.3   4,248    6,897   -46   112.3   2
3 THE AVENGERS          20.3   3,670    5,524   -45   552.7   5
4 BATTLESHIP             4.8   3,144    1,530   -56    55.1   3
5 THE DICTATOR           4.7   2,649    1,784   -49    50.8   3
6 BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD   4.6   1,294    3,555   -28    25.5   5
7 WHAT TO EXPECT         4.4   2,907    1,524   -38    30.7   3
8 DARK SHADOWS           3.9   3,002    1,286   -49    70.8   4
9 CHERNOBYL DIARIES      3.0   2,433    1,252   -62    14.4   2
10 FOR GREATER GLORY     1.8     757    2,378   --      1.8   1
11 THE HUNGER GAMES      1.5   1,099    1,365   -35   398.3  11
12 BERNIE                0.9     302    3,104    10     3.7   6

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
    $135.5        $153.7       -12%

Year-to-date Revenue:

     2012          2011
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
    $4,464.9      $4,068.3     +10%

Year-to-date Attendance:       +12%
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