When filling out the box office chart that's below the fold, I accidentally mistyped Madagascar as Badagascar. I didn't mean it. Of this decade's slew of random non-Pixar talking-animal cartoons, Madagascar and Happy Feet are far and away the best, so I'm glad that the former, at least, is now a bona fide franchise. (There were rumors of a second Happy Feet, but that project seems to have stalled.) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa opened to a huge $63.5 million this weekend, a $16 million improvement on its 2005 predecessor. Animated films' staying power is unpredictable (though generally stronger than average), but $175 million seems assured and $250 million is not out of the question.

Role Models' $19 million opening is less ginormous, but no less notable. For an R-rated comedy with no real stars and no franchise behind it, that's a major coup. I suspect word-of-mouth will help the film in the weeks to come.

Soul Men, on the other hand, failed to capitalize on the cache of Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac. Black audiences would have turned out in droves for the feel-good comedy. Lionsgate would have gone to town with it.

With last weekend's box office hit on account of Halloween falling on Friday, this weekend's drop figures -- save Saw V's -- looked pretty good across the board. Most notably, people seem to be responding well to Clint Eastwood's Changeling, which held on to fourth place without much of a screen count jump.

The full estimates after the jump.
1 - Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (Dreamworks/Paramount) - $63.50 ($15,656) - $63.50
2 - Role Models (Universal) - $19.25 ($6,895) - $19.25
3 - High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Disney) - $9.29 ($2,683) - $75.71
4 - Changeling (Universal) - $7.28 ($3,925) - $20.59
5 - Zack and Miri Make a Porno (Weinstein) - $6.52 ($2,384) - $20.93
6 - Soul Men (MGM) - $5.61 ($2,745) - $5.61
7 - Saw V (Lionsgate) - $4.2 ($1,485) - $52.32
8 - The Haunting of Molly Hartley (Freestyle) - $3.49 ($1,355) - $10.24
9 - The Secret Life of Bees (Fox Searchlight) - $3.13 ($2,110) - $29.94
10 - Eagle Eye (Dreamworks/Paramount) - $2.59 ($1,844) - $96.40

Numbers via Box Office Mojo.

Next week, Quantum of Solace looks to set a franchise record.