This weekend Madagascar 3 stole the box office charts, opening at $60.4 million in North America and $75.5 million abroad. Madagascar was produced by Dreamworks Studios (Nasdaq: DWA ) and distributed by Paramount Pictures, owned by Viacom (Nasdaq: VIAB ) .
Some believe the movie did so well because of a lack of family-friendly films available in theatres right now. So far, the summer season has been filled with action-packed, high-budget films like Men in Black 3 from Columbia Pictures-Sony, and Marvel Studio's Avengers, from Disney (NYSE: DIS ) . The family-friendly film starring well-known actors such as Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, and Sacha Baren-Cohen was received openly as a change of pace from highly anticipated action movies.
MIB 3's box office total rose to $441.7 million, and The Avengers to $1.2 billion.
Behind Madagascar in the box office was Prometheus, from 20th Century Fox-News Corp, which opened at $50 million. Last weeks' hit, Snow White and the Huntsman, added $23 million to its total of $182 million.
Other movies that are highly anticipated this summer include Ted (Universal Studios), The Amazing Spider Man (Columbia), and The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Brothers).
2012 has seen one blockbuster after another, and movie theaters have been raking in the profits. Indeed, box office numbers are significantly higher than they were at this point -- and year to date -- last year. It makes you wonder: What studio will release the next big hit?
Here's a list of the key players: (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)
1. Viacom: Market cap at $25.15B, most recent closing price at $47.64.
2. DreamWorks Animation: Engages in the development, production, and exploitation of animated feature films and characters worldwide. Market cap at $1.51B, most recent closing price at $18.01.
3. News Corp.: Operates as a diversified media company worldwide. Market cap at $47.08B, most recent closing price at $19.44.
4. IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq: IMAX ) : Operates as an entertainment technology company worldwide. Market cap at $1.4B, most recent closing price at $21.25.
5. Walt Disney: Operates as an entertainment company worldwide. Market cap at $82.65B, most recent closing price at $46.24.
6. Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) : Operates as a media and entertainment company in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $33.82B, most recent closing price at $35.23.
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.
Kapitall's Ryan Horch does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Data sourced from Finviz.