The animated critters of "Ice Age: Continental Drift" took in a cool $45.7 million and wrestled the North American weekend box-office crown away from "The Amazing Spider-Man."
"Scrat rules the world," Fox's head of distribution Chris Aronson told TheWrap Sunday, and this weekend he was right. "Continental Drift" also topped the foreign box office with $95 million in overseas grosses.
Sony's rebooted Spidey swung to a $35 million second weekend, a 44 percent drop from its opening weekend, to up its North American haul to $200.9 million. Last week's No. 1 movie had a per-location average of $8,106 at each of its 4,318 locations.
Universal's "Ted" is still talking, and walking, an impressive box-office game in its third week. Seth MacFarlane's potty-mouthed teddy bear tale added $22.1 million from 3,303 theaters. That's $6.705 per screen, and just a 31 percent drop from last week's take. The R-rated comedy's North American gross is now at $159 million.
The weekend total for "Continental Drift," the fourth film in the "Ice Age" franchise, landed between analysts' projections, which were for more than $50 million, and what Fox was predicting, which was the high $30 million range. On a total of 3,879 screens, the film's 2,731 3D screens generated 35 percent of its take, contributing to its strong $11,853 per-screen average.
While the opening of "Continental Drift" came in under two animated films that preceded it this summer — "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" opened to $60 million and "Brave" debuted with a $66 million weekend — Fox and Blue Sky Studios has plenty to be happy about.
Audiences gave it an "A-" CinemaScore, which should help word of mouth over the coming weeks. And its opening is better than the $41.6 million U.S. bow of the last film in the franchise, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," that went to make $887 million worldwide in 2009.
Fox was encouraged by the audience demo breakdown, which was 51 percent female and 50-50 for under 25 years of age.
"This is an everyone movie," Fox's Aronson said, "and we think its going to play well for the reamainder of the summer."
Directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier, "Continental Drift" features the voices of Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Aziz Ansari and Jennifer Lopez.
Warner Bros.' "Magic Mike" shook its booty to another $9 million, upping its three-week overall domestic gross to $91.8 million. The Channing Tatum male stripper film was made for $7 million.
Disney and Pixar's "Brave" is on the threshold of the $200 million mark in domestic grosses after adding $10.7 million from 3,392 locations. It stands at $195.6 million in North America, with a worldwide total of $242 million, but it's only played in about 16 percent of foreign markets.
Universal's "Savages" managed $8.7 million playing at 2,635 theaters for a per theater average of $3,315. Oliver Stone's drug trade thriller has made $31.5 million in its two weeks of release.
"Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection" upped its domestic gross to $55.6 million by taking in $5.6 million in its third week.
That was good enough to easily beat out "Katy Perry: Part of Me" for the No. 7 slot. Paramount Insurge's concert documentary managed $3.7 million in its second week.
Eight weeks into its run, Focus Features' "Moonrise Kingdom" is showing staying power. Wes Anderson's tale of tween love took in $3.9 million, a 19 percent drop from last week, to raise its overall domestic gross to $32.4 million.
With this weekend in the books, attention now shifts to Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight Rises," which opens Friday. Director Christopher Nolan's edgy thriller, the eighth entry in the Batman franchise, is expected to challenge "The Avengers" as the summer's box office champion.