In a battle that had all comers bearing their claws, it was the pack of citified zoo animals in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa that managed to come out on top. The DreamWorks sequel raked in a whopping $63.1 million on 4,056 screens, which just slightly edges out this summer's Wall-E for the biggest opening weekend for an animated feature this year. That haul is also more than three times the moolah brought in by the second-place Role Models, which, despite ads featuring funny kids sass-mouthing Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd, is an R-rated movie not for the kiddies. The only other new release in the top ten was Soul Men, which landed in sixth place with a tally of $5.4 million on 2,044 screens.
There are a whole lotta sequels going on. Particularly for the animated animals of the Dreamworks slate. Jeffery Katzenberg, head of Dreamworks, was at a preview for the upcoming Madagascar sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and said that they were planning not just an additional sequel in the Madagascar series, but a sequel to this summer's Kung Fu Panda as well. Having enjoyed both originals and also being always on the lookout for new movies to keep my nephews entertained on long car rides, I'm okay with it. I mean, there are only so many times my poor sister can listen to Cars.
To no one's surprise, James Bond dominated the box office, raking in $70.4 million for Quantum of Solace in its opening weekend. That's a record for a Bond film opening weekend, beating the previous top opener, Die Another Day, which brought in $47 million in its first weekend back in 2002. (Even when adjusted for ticket price inflation, Die Another Day would have a $57 million take, still lower than Quantum.) That's also the fourth-highest opening weekend of the year, after The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Iron Man.