Lighting up the family marketplace, Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax”debuted to a staggering $70.7 million, marking the best opening ever for a non-sequel animated title if the number holds.
The 3D pic — receiving a glowing A CinemaScore — narrowly bested the $70.5 million earned by Pixar’s “The Incredibles” in 2004, according to Universal estimates. Final numbers will come in Monday morning.
Either way, “Lorax” is an enormous victory for Universal and Illumination, as well as the film business in general. After last year’s moviegoing slump, which dampened the family marketplace, the domestic box office is surging. Revenues were up nearly 30 percent this weekend, marking the 9th weekend in a row of growth.
“Lorax” broke a number of other records, including nabbing the top opening of 2012 in beating the $41.2 million debut of “The Vow.” It’s also the best showing for any animated film since summer 2010 when “Toy Story 3” debuted to $110.3 million and “Shrek Forever After”opened to $70.8 million. And Lorax scored the fourth best opening ever for any Universal title.
Playing in a total of 3,729 theaters, “Lorax” drew more than 50 percent of its grosses from 3D or digital IMAX theaters.