Scene from animated movie Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
Zoo and rib cages continued to dominate the cineplex as a family cartoon and an Alien prequel held off a slew of newcomers this weekend, including Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted claimed the top spot at the box office for the second straight weekend with $35.5 million, according to studio estimates from Hollywood.com.
The animated film, featuring the voices of Chris Rock, Ben Stiller and David Schwimmer, has done $120.5 million in 10 days.
Gitesh Pandya of Boxofficeguru.com says that Madagascar is flourishing from repeat business. He says the film faced "no new kids competition" this weekend has benefited from "excellent audience feedback."
Prometheus, too, held off the weekend's new competition. The graphic Alien prequel took second place for the second week, this time doing $20.2 million. The Ridley Scott drama has done $88.9 million over two weekends.
Tim Briody of Boxofficeprophets.com says that while ardent fans have made Prometheus a hit, its sprawling plot has left some critics and mainstream audiences puzzled.
"It's got some passionate fans," Briody says. "But the overwhelming response seemed to have been 'ummmm,what?' "
Still, both fared better than offerings from high-profile stars.
Cruise's '80s music homage Rock of Ages took third place with $15.1 million. Analysts expected the movie to open around $25 million.
Critics weren't exactly tapping their toes to Rock, which earned a thumbs-up from about 42% of the nation's critics, according to Rottentomatoes.com. Fans were kinder, the site says: 66% said they liked it.
The fairy tale twist Snow White and the Huntsman took No. 4 with $13.8 million. The film has done $122.6 million since its release June 1.
Adam Sandler's latest vilified comedy, That'sMy Boy, also underperformed, taking fifth with $13 million.
Analysts were expecting at least $22 million, and critics were expecting laughs. But only 23% of reviewers recommended the movie, compared with 67% of moviegoers, the amalgam site says.
Final figures are due Monday.
By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY