Pic is first toon to cross $200 mil mark in U.S. since 2010

Having crossed the $200 million domestic mark on April 11, Universal’s “The Lorax” is the first animated film to reach that milestone since 2010′s Thanksgiving release “Tangled.”

“Lorax” also marks the second-highest-grossing toon to be released in the first quarter, behind “How to Train Your Dragon,” which took in $217.6 million domestically.

The parallels between “Lorax” and “Dragon” go beyond grosses, however.

U used a similar distribution strategy for “Lorax,” bowing the pic on March 2, as Paramount did for DreamWorks Animation’s “Dragon,” which debuted March 26, 2010. That toon, like “Lorax,” played extraordinarily well in holdover frames in advance of the Easter weekend. But “Lorax” had a much longer run-up to the holiday, made slightly more so by the fact that in 2010, Easter fell during the April 2-4 frame; this year, the holiday landed on April 8.

Budgeted at $70 million, “Lorax,” the Dr. Seuss eco-themed tale, got off to a boffo start, opening to $70.2 million domestically. And like “Dragon,” it continued to see limited weekend-to-weekend declines; the pic’s biggest decline so far happened during its second frame, when it fell just 45%.

So far, “Lorax” has tallied $58 million internationally in 49 territories, though several major European markets, including France, Germany and the U.K., have yet to be tapped. Pic will roll out in those markets in July.

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