DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar opens today. The film will debut in a staggering 4,131 theatres – making it the third widest released film of all time according to Box Office Mojo. While no one expects that the film will dethrone Star Wars Episode III, it should pull in a very impressive second place. Box Office Prophets predicts $56 million, Box Office Guru predicts $62 million, and Box Office Report says $63 million. Rotten Tomatoes’ critics rank the film at 56% on the “Tomatometer” – just short of a “Fresh” rating. Roger Ebert seems to sum up the critical consensus: “Madagascar is funny, especially at the beginning, and good-looking in a retro cartoon way, but in a world where the stakes have been raised by Finding Nemo, Shrek, and The Incredibles, it’s a throwback to a more conventional kind of animated entertainment. It’ll be fun for the smaller kids, but there’s not much crossover appeal for their parents”.

Be sure to check out Animated News’ Christian Ziebarth’s report and review from his preview screening of the film.