Disney Pixar

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.

The film improved on the animation-giant's 2011 summer entry, Cars 2, which bowed with $66.1 million. (Brave improved even more on Cars 2's poor reviews.) It's the fifth-biggest Pixar opener ever.

"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.

Woody Allen came through again, scoring $75,000-plus off each of the five theaters showing his latest, To Rome With Love.

Last weekend's disappointments, Rock of Ages and Adam Sandler's That's My Boy, both showed some leg.

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:

  1. Brave, $66.7 million
  2. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, $20.2 million
  3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, $16.5 million
  4. Prometheus, $10 million
  5. Snow White and the Huntsman, $8.012 million
  6. Rock of Ages, $8 million
  7. That's My Boy, $7.9 million
  8. The Avengers, $7 million
  9. Men in Black 3, $5.6 million
  10. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, $3.8 million

 (Originally published at 9:08 a.m. PT on June 24, 2012.)

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