‘Lorax’ cleans up at box office with $70.7M debut

Posted March 04, 2012, at 7:31 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” raked in all kinds of green, earning $70.7 million in its first weekend to score the biggest box-office debut of the year by far.

The 3-D animated family film from Universal Pictures, featuring the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift, is based on Seuss’ cautionary fable about the importance of preserving the environment. Of its opening haul, $5.4 million, or 8 percent, came from IMAX screens, which is on the high side for a family film.

Coming in second place with a strong debut of its own was the R-rated “Project X,” about a trio of high school misfits who throw a raging party in hopes of becoming popular. The Warner Bros. comedy made about $20.8 million, according to Sunday studio estimates.

“The Lorax” comes from the makers of “Despicable Me,” — Illumination Entertainment, led by producer Christopher Meledandri — and director Chris Renaud. It actually had a bigger opening than that film, which debuted with $56.4 million in July 2010. It also scored the biggest opening for a Dr. Seuss adaptation, topping the $55.1 million that “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” made in 2 000.

Before this, “The Vow” had the best debut of 2012 with $41.2 million.

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