Brother Bear Pounces Wide

Disney’s animated adventure/comedy Brother Bear opens wide across North America tomorrow, taking advantage of a gap in new family fare and challenging the box office reign of horror and horror spoofing. The studio opted for the unusual Saturday opening since most kids will be out trick-or-treating rather than going to the movies tonight. Family flicks generally compete better on Saturday and Sunday anyway.

Brother Bear opened in New York and Los Angeles last weekend and managed an impressive $285,000 on only two screens. That number should grow nicely this weekend considering its aggressive marketing campaign and a high 3,000+ theater count. Boxofficemojo.com is predicting a 2nd place win behind New Line’s comedy Scary Movie 3, which broke October records last weekend with a $50 million take. However, returns for that film may drop off enough for Brother to take a nice first place bite. The surprising $13 million debut of Sony Pictures’ inspirational true story Radio may be indication that audiences are beginning to tire of the gore-fest perpetrated by films like New Line’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Miramax’s Kill Bill.

The competition gets much stiffer next weekend when New Line’s Elf and Disney’s The Haunted Mansion debut, followed by the Nov. 14 bow of Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes: Back in Action and the Nov. 21 premiere of Universal’s Cat in the Hat.

Read all about the making of Brother Bear in the November issue of Animation Magazine.