New releases all fared well as the April box office kicked off with the Easter-themed hit Hop which powered its way to number one playing well to family audiences. Older adults drove the action thriller Source Code to a second place debut while fright fans lined up for the new horror pic Insidious which finished in third. But overall ticket sales continued to struggle as last year’s top four films alone grossed more than all films this weekend combined.
With no huge stars appearing on screen or providing voices, the $63M-budgeted Hop was promoted as being from the producer of Despicable Me and the director of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Those overachievers grossed a combined $469M from North America alone and were crowd-pleasers with kids so families felt safe coming out for this new offering. A familiar Easter Bunny storyline and colorful trailers helped too as did a release date a few weeks before the family-friendly holiday. With a CinemaScore grade of A- and no new kidpics slated for next weekend, the road ahead looks promising although the 3D toon Rio will cause a major distraction on April 15. Overall, Hop enjoyed the fifth-biggest opening ever for April which generally is a slow month at multiplexes.
Tumbling 57% from its top spot debut was the kidpic sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules which took in an estimated $10.2M in its second weekend for fourth place. The Fox release, which cost just $20M to produce, has grossed a solid $38.4M in ten days and is headed for the vicinity of $55M, or just slightly below the $64M of its predecessor from last spring.
The Bradley Cooper-Robert De Niro hit Limitless followed with an estimated $9.4M, off only 38%, for a $55.6M total in 17 days for Relativity. Lionsgate’s Matthew McConaughey legal drama The Lincoln Lawyer also held up well in its third round slipping only 34% to an estimated $7.1M for a $39.6M cume to date. Both films are benefiting from strong word-of-mouth.
Alien flicks Paul and Battle: Los Angeles were once again neighbors on the box office chart and this time rounded out the top ten. Universal’s comedy collected an estimated $4.3M, down 45%, and has taken in $31.9M to date. Sony’s action pic fell harder with a 54% decline to an estimated $3.5M. The invasion film’s domestic total stands at $78.5M while the overseas tally crossed the century mark this weekend with $100.7M putting the global cume at $179.2M.
In limited release, Sony Classics platformed this year’s Oscar and Golden Globe winner for best foreign language film In A Better World in four sites in New York and Los Angeles and grossed an estimated $35,400. The Danish film averaged a respectable $8,850 per theater and earned mostly good reviews from U.S. film critics. The bullying drama played numerous film festivals like Toronto and Sundance and was released in Scandinavia last fall.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $111.8M which was down a sizable 33% from last year when Clash of the Titans opened in the top spot with $61.2M; and off 24% from 2009 when Fast & Furious debuted at number one with $71M. The two films still stand as April’s biggest opening weekends by a wide margin.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!