‘Prometheus,’ ‘Madagascar’ popping past $60 mil

Early Friday estimates already outrunning expectations

The June box office is getting a jolt from 3D newcomers “Prometheus” and “Madagascar 3,” as early Friday afternoon estimates have the pair neck-and-neck with $22 million to $26 million for the day — each is now streaking toward a $60 million-plus weekend.

One B.O. analyst has the R-rated “Prometheus” charting as high as $70 million or more. Either way, the results are a good sign for Hollywood, whose summer box office is currently off 2% from last year.

Heading into the weekend, 20th Century Fox had downplayed expectations for “Prometheus,” but after Ridley Scott’s sci-fier earned an impressive $3.56 million in Thursday midnight screenings, all bets were off.

“It’s doing better than ‘Inception’ at this point,” one exec says, referring to Christopher Nolan’s PG-13 sci-fier. “Inception” went on to gross $63 million during its opening weekend.

Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron, “Prometheus” had long-been hyped as an “Alien” prequel despite Fox’s ‘strands of DNA’ stipulation.

Pic has already cumed $54 million internationally and is gearing up to become the first R-rated movie to open to more than $50 million in Fox’s seventy-seven year history.

Meanwhile, Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar” sequel is performing very well with family auds, as expected. The 3D toon, opening in 4,502 locations, is on par with the franchise’s second “Madagascar” film, whose opening frame hit $63 million.

Universal’s holdover “Snow White and the Huntsman” should drop 55%-60% in its second sesh for a weekend cume of $20 million to $25 million.

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