has achieved the biggest opening weekend of any Disney (NYSE:
) animated film, earning a domestic draw of
. According to Box Office Mojo, the film earned more than
A Christmas Carol
and other Disney films excluding those that were produced by
also made more than
, the 2010 animated hit that grossed $200 million domestically
and more than $590 million worldwide. However,
opened on a Wednesday. That makes it difficult to compare its
three-day earnings to other Disney films.
-- which tells the comedic story of a video game bad guy who
wants to turn his life around -- is already a hit for Disney. The
film's opening weekend estimate is on track to beat many of
DreamWorks Animation's (NYSE:
) holiday films, including
Puss in Boots
(a market research firm that measures movie appeal), moviegoers
an "A" rating.
, which also opened last weekend, received an "A-" rating, while
The Man with the Iron Fists
received a "C+."
New York Times
film critic A. O. Scott said that the secret to
's success is a "genuine enthusiasm for the creative potential of
games, a willingness to take them seriously without descending
into nerdy pomposity."
"I am delighted to surrender my cynicism, at least until I've
used up today's supply of quarters," he quipped in his
Internet Movie Database users have given
an average score of
out of 10
. Ninety-four percent of
readers say that they liked the film.
Critical acclaim and user praise are not enough to boost a
film's profits, but when mixed with positive word-of-mouth and an
effective marketing campaign, it can lead to box office gold.
opened on more screens than
(3,752 versus 3,603) and both films
earned more than $13,000
per screen. Comparatively,
earned just over $7,000 per screen during its opening weekend.
earned nearly $11,000 per screen.
Considering the similar patterns of
(which also earned acclaim from
readers, as well as critics) and
, it appears that Disney has another $200 million hit on its
The real deciding factor could be in how much the studio
continues to advertise the film now that it has been released.
Contrary to popular belief, post-release advertising is an
important part of a film's marketing campaign. Ads are an
effective way to remind moviegoers that a film is now in
theaters. They encourage repeat viewings and help to build the
brand for years to come. Disney could be happy with its near-$50
million earnings and quietly walk away. But it would be wiser to
keep promoting the film to increase its chances of making $200
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