Brave made good on the Pixar brand, winning the weekend box office with an estimated Friday-Sunday gross of $66.7 million.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter performed like its namesake, too—the pre-White House one who had trouble winning elections (and, no, who wasn't really a vampire hunter). The offbeat horror film settled for a third-place, sub-$20 million debut.
Brave is Pixar's 13th feature film, and, now, its 13th feature to open at No. 1.
It's also its first to feature a female heroine.
"They do amazing things," said Dave Hollis, an exec for Disney, Pixar's studio home.
The film was graded an A across the board by opening-weekend audiences, including boys who aren't supposed to like movies about girls. And while Brave did skew more female than male, it was hardly a Twilight movie, with males making up 43 percent of moviegoers. (Lesson learned: Never underestimate the universal appeal of bows and arrows.)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, meanwhile, did about what it was supposed to do, considering its no-star cast, undead take on history and summer-cheap budget (reputedly $69 million).
The film's biggest crime was that it was no Bad Teacher, which in the same weekend last year versus Cars 2, came away with a $30 million-plus debut.
Fortunately for Hollywood, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, deposed after a two-week run at No. 1, held very well, and overall ticket revenue was down less than 10 percent from last year, but it was down—again.
Elsewhere, the Steve Carell-Keira Knightley romantic-comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World crashed and burned in its opening weekend, averaging less than $2,500 from each of its 1,625 screens.
Ridley Scotts Prometheus broke $100 million domestically, while The Avengers got ever closer to $600 million in the same department.
Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Exhibitor Relations:
(Originally published at 9:08 a.m. PT on June 24, 2012.)