‘Oceans’ tops box office on Earth Day

Disneynature doc nabs $2.4 million Thursday

Disneynature’s documentary “Oceans” topped yesterday’s sea of holdovers with an estimated $2.4 million at 1,206 locations.

Group sales drove the Earth Day bow, as Disney heavily promoted the nature docu among Stateside schools.

“One of the nice things about Earth Day is that you see a concentrated audience that really cares,” said Disney distrib topper Chuck Viane. “This is a really great start for this little film.”

Paramount and DreamWorks Animations’ 3D toon “How to Train Your Dragon” and Lionsgate’s superhero actioner “Kick-Ass” followed Thursday, both grossing an estimated $1.2 million.

“Oceans” marks the second installment in the Mouse House’s series of nature docus. The inaugural pic “Earth” debuted on the same day last year, earning $4.4 million, the highest ever for a nature docu, with a total $8.8 million in its opening weekend. A comparatively shallow debut for “Oceans” means the docu will not likely reach the same heights as its predecessor. “Earth” grossed an overall $32 million domestically.

As of April 15, Disney pre-sold some 400,000 tickets under its “See ‘Oceans,’ Save Oceans” initiative — a joint venture with the Nature Conservancy that donates a portion of the film’s earnings to coral reefs in the Bahamas. With the advanced tickets, studio estimated it had saved more than 790 reef acres.

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