According to preliminary box office estimates, Disney’s animated Western, Home on the Range, is riding high in the saddle with a top-five finish in its fourth week out to the stable. The film debuted in sixth place due to tough competition from Warner Bros.’ Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, but managed to inch up the charts while other pics are sinking like stones.
With a cume estimated at $42.4 million, Home on the Range is not headed for the $300 million mark like Finding Nemo or Monsters, Inc., which is enough for Mouse House execs to justify their abandonment of traditional animation. But what they are less likely to acknowledge is the fact that this little 2D comedy has outperformed other recent Disney efforts including Ella Enchanted ($17.2 million est.) starring tween queen Anne Hathaway, the Tom Hanks vehicle The Lady Killers ($36.7 million est.) and the $100 million historical epic The Alamo ($19.6 million est.).
Home on the Range would perhaps be facing tougher competition in the family market if Warner Bros. had given wider release to Clifford’s Really Big Movie. Parents with young fans of Scholastic’s animated series had to seek the feature out in one of 471 across the country. The toon about a big red dog barked up around $670,000 over the weekend, bringing its cume to around $1.8 million including receipts from preliminary testing in select markets.
The weekend’s top performers were Twentieth Century Fox’s Man on Fire with an estimated $23 million, Sony/Revolution Studios’ 13 Going on 30 with around $22 million, Miramax’s Kill Bill: Vol. 2 with an estimated $10.4 million and Lions Gate’s The Punisher with just north of $6 million.