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Slow, steady wins race for ‘Madagascar’

Amid an onslaught of day-and-date event movies being lobbed overseas this summer, with varying degrees of success, UIP’s slow-and-steady approach for DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar” is turning the toon into a box office animal. Rather than aim the film at global domination, UIP has taken a more tailored approach, releasing it territory by territory to coincide with local tyke school breaks around the world. “One thing we’ve learned about a CGI-animated film is that it’s really important to release the film on a territory-by-territory level,” said Andrew Cripps, UIP president and chief operating officer of the unit’s “Madagascar” plan. “That strategy, along with good marketing support, plays strongly into school holidays. It’s far more important to do that than go for the headlines.” The movie’s slow-growing but potent total made it tops on the international scene last weekend; it was first rolled out six weeks ago in some territories. Offshore returns for “Madagascar” have hit $143 million, while the worldwide total is at $327 million.

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