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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 03/13/2011

BOX OFFICE: 'Rango' still a tough hombre; 'Mars Needs Moms,' not so much.

By Michael Cavna


When to comes to Hollywood's animated fare, this town may not be big enough for both "Rango's" sheriff and the laser-shooters of "Mars Needs Moms."

Paramount/Nickelodeon's "Rango" proved resilient, grossing $23-million one week after the Johnny Depp-voiced film debuted as the box-office champ with $38-million -- and winning animation's current battle of Los Angeles.

Disney's 3-D/IMAX/motion-capture animation "Mars Needs Moms" was much slower on the draw, pulling in a disappointing $6.8-million in its debut, according to domestic-market studio estimates compiled by Reuters. Some industry observers had predicted the film from producer Robert Zemeckis and director Simon Wells would gross at least $10-million.

Last spring, DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" and Tim Burton's live-action/CGI-animation hybrid "Alice in Wonderland" (also headlined by Depp) were both able to win over much of the same audience, each elbowing their way to box-office success.

With only a week between their releases, though, "Mars" may have partly been undercut by "Rango's" staying power.

Another alien adventure, Sony's "Battle: Los Angeles" (starring "The Dark Knight's Aaron Eckhart), won the weekend with $36-million and finished well ahead of (in order) "Rango," "Red Riding Hood" ($14.1-million), "The Adjustment Bureau" ($11.5-mill) and "Mars Needs Moms."

By Michael Cavna  | March 13, 2011; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  The Animation, The Holly Word  | Tags:  Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, Mars Needs Moms, Rango  
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