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The Biggest Second-Place Debuts in Box-Office History

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | June 10, 2012 |

The $60 million put it $10 million up over Ridley Scott's Alien sequel-not-a-sequel, Prometheus, which nevertheless opened with $50 million, far ahead of studio expectations. The $50 million opening is the second best of Ridley Scott's career (behind Hannibal), the biggest opening for an Alien film (ahead of Alien vs. Predator's $38 million), and it was the 12th biggest opening for an R-rated film (fourth among R-rated action films). Moreover, opening in second place with $50 million puts it in good company among the other biggest second-place debuts in box-office history, including the original Madagascar.

Here's the Top 20 Second-Place Debuts:

1. The Day After Tomorrow -- $68 million

2. Sherlock Holmes -- $62 milion

3. Wanted -- $50.9 million

4. Prometheus -- $50 million

5. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel -- $48 million

6. Tangled -- $48 million

7. Kung Fu Panda 2 -- $47 million

8. The Longest Yard -- $46 million

9. Madagascar -- $47 million

10. Alvin and the Chipmunks -- $44 million

11. Terminator Salvation - $42 million

12. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs -- $41 million

13. Casino Royale -- $40 million

14. Grown Ups -- $40.5 million

15. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor -- $40.4 million

16. The Last Airbender -- $40.3 million

17. Safe House -- $40.1 million

18. You Don't Mess with the Zohan: $38.5 million

19. Over the Hedge: $38.3 million

20. Bee Movie -- $38 million



It was a huge success given what Prometheus had going against it -- a dark, R-Rated film -- but Ridley Scott shouldn't count his alien creatures yet: The 25 percent drop between Friday and Sunday does not bode well for the film's word of mouth. I think I've also seen upwards of 15 posts this weekend specifically exploring the film's problems, a treatment that Michael Bay's films never receive, which I suppose says a lot about the expectations people had for Prometheus.

Speaking of tepid word of mouth, Snow White and the Huntsman -- last week's number one film -- fell nearly 60 percent to land at number three this week with $23 million. MIB 3 also continues a bad downward trajectory, falling 52 percent in its third week, while The Avengers added $10 million to bring its total to $571 million with a decent shot at $600 million before it finishes out its run. Speaking of milestones, Hunger Games also became the 14th movie ever to cross the $400 million mark this weekend.

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