The Lorax Triumphs at Friday Box Office with Big $17.4 Million Start

The Lorax Triumphs at Friday Box Office with Big $17.4 Million StartThe Lorax movie, based on the 1971 Dr. Seuss book, flashed orange and a myriad of other bright colors at the box office on Friday, but came away seeing nothing but green.

In its first 24 hours of release, Universal’s The Lorax starring the voices of Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito and Zac Efron, scored $17.4 million in North American ticket sales, outpacing tracking that had suggested it would open around the $16 million mark. That same tracking placed The Lorax opening weekend numbers at around $50 to $55 million. With Saturday and Sunday matinees added to the already big Friday opening, The Lorax could finish its first weekend in theaters north of $60 million.

The $17.4 million The Lorax opening is behind Illumination Entertainment’s previous big animated film Despicable Me which opened with a $21.3 million first day in theaters. However, Despicable Me wrapped its opening weekend with $56.4 million, a number The Lorax should easily top.

The other newcomer on Friday, party flick Project X, also put up big numbers with an $8.2 million opening day. While a hair short of the $8.6 million Chronicle put up using the same hand-held photography style, Project X’s opening is considered a success and should result in a $20 million plus tally through Sunday.

Last weekend’s champ Act of Valor slipped a disastrous 58% over its opening Friday to come in third with $3.8 million. Though the film starring real-life active duty Navy SEALs is past the $35 million mark in its first eight days of release, such a steep drop doesn’t bode well for its future remaining in the top 10.

Stop by Sunday afternoon to see how high The Lorax was able to climb. My guess is it will conclude the weekend around $61 million.

– Dan Bradley

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