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A big-screen version of classic Dr. Seuss children's book "The Lorax" rang up a massive $70.7 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales over the weekend, the biggest movie debut so far this year.

About 8 percent of sales came from giant IMAX screens

Eight percent is not a big number. The last Harry Potter domestic opening was 8.9% IMAX income. And $5.6 million isn't that big a number either. Harry Potter brought in $15.2 million.

Last year the end-of-March release Sucker Punch only made $19 million but the IMAX take was $4.0 million.

When trying to find something from 2011 with a similar size opening, Thor did $65.7 million and $6.2 million via IMAX.

There are positives about this weekend. March is usually not a big movie month. The year ago first-of-March IMAX movie, Disney's Mars Needs Moms, was a total bust. All screens, including the 211 domestic IMAX screens it was on, grossed $6.9 million on opening weekend.

How bad was it?

Mars Needs Moms was a box-office, commercial, and pay-per-view failure, earning only $1,725,000 on its first day, for a weekend total of $6,825,000. This was the 12th worst opening ever for a film playing in 3000+ theaters. Due to its very high budget of $150 million, the film was a major box office bomb, and is the biggest box-office bomb in film history unadjusted for inflation. Even adjusted for inflation, considering the total net loss of money (not the profit to loss ratio), it was still the fifth largest box office bomb in history.

Sucker Punch was the only other release in March.

2012 is going to have twice as many movies (4) as 2011 (2): Lorax, John Carter, Hunger Games, and Wrath of the Titans. Lorax has already earned more that last March's two movies combined. Hunger Games alone should have income that might be 2-times that of Sucker Punch and Mars combined! So, March is going to be big for IMAX even if the Lorax numbers are not impressive in general.

Also, IMAX has already said that animated fare hasn't proven to be their strongest draw. So the fact that Lorax did $5.6 million domestically is probably good news.

There is a big worry that John Carter will not have legs. But, it is set for only a two week run so its overall impact, if bad, will still look good when compared to 2011.

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