What could have been more mortifying to Disney executives than for its purported $250-300 million live-action/CG blockbuster John Carter to be beaten by -- gasp! -- an animated feature, the second week of one at that. But that is what occurred this weekend, as John Carter opened with an estimated $30.6 million and Universal's Dr. Seuss' The Lorax with $38 million. That's about how people in the know figured the two films would wind up. And there has been talk for weeks that Disney may be forced to take a huge write-off -- perhaps as much as $150 million -- on the Carter movie. But hold on! The movie had a huge overseas opening, taking in $70.6 million and leading many analysts to speculate that in the long haul it could even become profitable. (Wait 'til it opens on Mars, where it is partially set!) Coming in third was the second week of the "found footage" flick Project X . It dropped just 45 percent to $11.6 million. The second week of the Navy Seal movie Act of Valor wound up in fourth place with about $7 million, tying in the estimates with Open Road's Silent House . The opening of Paramount's Eddie Murphy comedy A Thousand Words landed in sixth place with a mere $6.4 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, $39.1 million; 2. John Carter, $30.6 million; 3. Project X , $11.6 million); 4. Silent House, $7.01 million; 5. Act of Valor, $7 million; 6 . A Thousand Words, $6.4 million; 7. Safe House, $5 million; 8. The Vow, $4 million); 9. This Means War , $3.8 million; 10. Journey 2 The Mysterious Island, 3.7 million.

12/03/2012