Moviegoers Dodge 80 Days, Shrek Proves Animation is King

Twentieth Century Fox’s zany comedy, DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, delivered a crushing blow at the North American box office over the weekend, knocking the wind out fellow newcomers like Buena Vista’s comedic adventure remake, Around the World in 80 Days. DodgeBall, starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, had audiences laughing to the tune of an estimated $30 million to claim the No. 1 spot.

DreamWorks’ dramedy, The Terminal, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, came in second with around $18.7 million, which was just enough to knock Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban down a peg to No. 3 with $17.4 million in its fourth week. The effects-filled fantasy film has brought in just north of $190 million so far, which puts it in the profit margin but pales in comparison to the phenomenal $378 million achieved by DreamWorks’ Shrek 2. In just five weeks, the animated sequel has overtaken both NewMarket’s The Passion of the Christ and New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The top-grossing animated film of all time is now the year’s biggest money-maker in general.

Coming in behind Shrek at No. 5 is Garfield: The Movie. Twentieth Century Fox’s CG/live-action comedy scratched up another $11 million to bring its two-week cume to $42 million. Despite the disappointing 49% drop-off, the film is well on its way to recouping its $50 budget and turning a profit to boot. However, video sales is where it will make most of its lasagna.

Around the World in 80 Days has proven to be a dud on the scale of Disney’s big-budget historical pic, The Alamo. Budgeted at $110 million, the Jackie Chan vehicle has only managed to bring in an estimated $9.6 million since opening on Wednesday, posting a ninth place finish in its debut weekend.

DodgeBall is sure to take a hit next weekend with the arrival of Michael Moore’s incendiary documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Shawn and Marlon Wayans’ well-tracking comedy, White Chicks, which opens on Wednesday.