Rick Munarriz nailed this one. In a preview of DreamWorks Animation's (NYSE: DWA) latest outing at the domestic box office, Rick theorized that Madagascar might perform on par with the animation company's previous release Shark Tale. According to early estimates at boxofficemojo.com, he was right: Madagascar took in approximately the same amount in its debut Friday-through-Sunday time frame ($47.1 million) as did Shark Tale in its own opening weekend ($47.6 million). Adding in Memorial Day brings the film to an estimated opening total of $61 million.
It was almost a given that Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith would remain in the top spot. And the logic that powered Rick's supposition about the first-weekend monetary dynamics was sound. But my gut told me that this was going to be at least a $50 million-plus three-day weekend for the crazy animated animals and their goofy on-screen antics. One issue that affected the film's prospects was Viacom's (NYSE: VIA) Adam Sandler vehicle The Longest Yard. That project performed much stronger than I had anticipated -- it is estimated to have taken in $60 million from Friday through Monday.