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Recession-Proof Cinema

Jada Pinkett Smith Talks Madagascar 2

— November 11, 2008 — Pop Culture
Madagascar 2, which stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and David Schwimmer, hit the box office with raving success this weekend, proving people are not going to let the recession get in the way of family fun.

“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which opened number one at the domestic box office, generated an estimated $63.1 million with $3.5 million contributed from 129 IMAX theatres from Friday November 7, through Sunday November 9,” Fox Business said. “The release marks the highest grossing 2D-animated IMAX opening ever, recording an IMAX per screen average of $27,000.”

Oddly enough, people have been complaining about movie prices as they’ve been raised over the last half decade, yet when a hit blockbuster comes out, they continue to splurge on $12 tickets. Even with the credit crunch, people are still burning their hard-earned dough on theaters.

Jada Pinkett Smith, who plays Gloria the hippo again, says Madagascar 2 is both made for pleasing children as well as adults.

“I do it for my kids, but if I was a bit more aware, I probably would do it for the child within me,” she says of lending her voice to a cartoon. “I don’t know if I’m that aware. [LAUGHTER] I probably need to do something like this for the child within me.”

In previous times of economic crisis, there was a surge in people flocking to entertainment venues, seeking perhaps a distraction, or a reason to laugh. Is that the same thing we’re experiencing now? Is that why Madagascar 2 was such a hit?

For a while, I thought people were going to stop going to the cinema, that downloading movies would be easier and that people didn’t want to spend their money like that. But now I’d like to take that back.

The movies are about an experience, about getting out, about enjoying oneself in an element that is removed from everything else that creates chaos in our daily lives.

I like what Jada Pinkett Smith said about doing things for your inner kid, and for me, that certainly includes enjoying myself at the movies, especially when the flick includes Ben Stiller!