Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Rio Flies High Again

Plus, Elephants, Cats, and Madea debut decently.

by | April 25, 2011 | Comments

This weekend, the angry and not-so-angry birds of the 3D animated smash Rio held onto the top spot at the North American box office for a second weekend in a row. Results for the Easter frame’s three new releases were good as the Tyler Perry comedy Madea’s Big Happy Family, the circus romance Water for Elephants, and the nature documentary African Cats all connected with their respective audiences. Ticket sales for the Top 20 were up a sharp 40% from a year ago which was not a holiday session, but down a troubling 23% from 2010’s record Easter weekend. Most holdovers did remain strong though.

Still attracting large crowds, Rio fended off the Tyler Perry machine to retain the number one spot with an estimated $26.8M over the holiday weekend dropping only 32% from its debut to boost the ten-day tally to a muscular $81.3M. The hold was on par with what Fox saw nine years ago with Ice Age which fell 35% in its second weekend in March 2002 which was not a holiday. With schools out on Good Friday, Rio had a more available audience that day helping to cushion the blow. Both films were directed by Carlos Saldanha as were the Ice Age sequels.


Rio‘s sophomore decline was almost even with last spring’s leggy hit How To Train Your Dragon which slipped 34%, but easily bested the second weekend drops for recent spring toons Rango (-41%), Monsters vs. Aliens (-45%), and Horton Hears a Who (-45%). At its current pace, Rio could find its way to the neighborhood of $160M from North America and plenty more overseas. The international haul after three weeks soared to $204.7M after a sturdy $44.2M international frame putting the global gross at a towering $286M with much more to come. The worldwide take should easily climb past the $500M mark in the coming weeks as 3D animated kidpics, especially ones set outside of the U.S., travel very well.

Tyler Perry scored the fourth biggest opening of his career with his latest comedy Madea’s Big Happy Family which debuted close behind in second place with an estimated $25.8M from 2,288 theaters for a robust $11,254 average. While on its way to being another moneymaker for the filmmaker and Lionsgate, this new PG-13 entry showed some audience erosion when compared to the director’s past films. Happy fell behind the openings of Perry’s last two Madea pics – 2006’s Madea’s Family Reunion ($30M) and 2009’s Madea Goes to Jail ($41M). Perry’s most recent comedy, last year’s Why Did I Get Married Too which bowed on Good Friday as well, also debuted better with $29.3M.


While Tyler Perry films tend to draw in his fan base on the first weekend and suffer large declines in following weeks – his films tend to make 45-48% of their totals in the first three days – Happy scored a rare A CinemaScore so word-of-mouth could allow for a slightly better road ahead. African Americans made up the usual share of the audience (81%) but females were a somewhat smaller portion of the crowd at 72%. Married Too was 80% female.

Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson drew a solid crowd for their romantic drama Water for Elephants which premiered in third place with an estimated $17.5M. Based on the best-selling novel, the PG-13 film averaged $6,212 from 2,817 locations and played heavily to female audiences, lovers of the book, and Twilight fans that follow Pattinson religiously. Critics had mixed feelings but the built-in audiences came out anyway giving Fox the best opening for an adult drama this year so far. Mature-skewing thrillers and comedies have done exceptionally well this year, but regular dramas have seen more modest numbers on the first weekend. An A- CinemaScore suggests a good run ahead as counter-programming to a steady diet of testosterone flicks about to attack multiplexes.


The Easter holiday, and a concentrated advertising effort reminding audiences of it, gave a big boost to the kidpic Hop which climbed 16% from last weekend to an estimated $12.5M. The Easter Bunny pic appropriately broke the $100M mark on Easter Sunday putting the 24-day total at $100.5M.

With most major holdovers dropping by less than 30%, horror fourquel Scream 4 collapsed in its second weekend tumbling by a steep 62% to an estimated $7.2M. With $31.2M in ten days, a final gross of roughly $40M seems likely for The Weinstein Co. release putting it below the much-loved fright pic Insidious which has been winning over genre fans all month.

Disneynature’s latest Earth Day documentary African Cats debuted in sixth place with an estimated $6.4M over an incredibly front-loaded weekend. With opening day being both Good Friday and Earth Day, its $3.3M take accounted for a whopping 52% of the three-day figure. The G-rated pic about feline families in Africa was narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and averaged a commendable $5,246 over the weekend from 1,220 sites. Reviews were mostly positive. Cats generated an opening gross and average similar to those of the distributor’s Oceans from one year ago which bowed to $6.1M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of its four-day launch.


Four holdovers rounded out the top ten, all within $500,000 of each other and with low declines. Sony’s uplifting girlpower drama Soul Surfer slipped just 23% to an estimated $5.6M for a $28.7M cume to date. The sleeper hit horror flick Insidious followed with an estimated $5.4M, down just 20%, with an impressive $44.2M to date.

Focus saw its action entry Hanna drop 28% to an estimated $5.3M while Summit’s train disaster thriller Source Code fell a mere 18% to an estimated $5.1M. Totals to date are $31.7M and $44.7M, respectively.

Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold delivered a mediocre debut bowing in 18 theaters with an estimated $135,000 for a moderate $7,500 average. Marketed as the first film about product placement to be fully financed by product placement, the Sony Classics release did succeed in getting its title sponsor publicized in brand new places although there is no telling what effect it will have on pomegranate juice sales. Reviews for Greatest were mixed but fairly positive.


The summer box office gets an early headstart with this Friday’s opening of Fast Five which kicked off its international run over Easter weekend with large number one bows in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and South Korea. The fifth installment in the lucrative Fast and Furious franchise grossed a meaty $24M from 957 theaters across the four markets with series-best openings in all territories. Australia debuted with a mammoth $10.7M setting a new studio record for Universal there while the U.K. generated $8.8M. Ten territories open next weekend along with North America including Germany, Russia, and Spain feeding audience hunger after a long drought of action tentpoles.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $117.4M which was up 37% from last year when How To Train Your Dragon returned to the top spot with $15.4M; and up 17% from 2009 when Obsessed debuted at number one with $28.6M. Neither was the Easter frame though.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

Tag Cloud

scene in color golden globe awards Comedy Mudbound Spectrum Originals DC streaming service Awards Tour Alien Schedule Hallmark Bravo ID chucky Columbia Pictures Amazon Exclusive Video San Diego Comic-Con Black Mirror Acorn TV Broadway Martial Arts Britbox spanish GIFs Amazon Prime binge crime thriller Fox Searchlight Trophy Talk Thanksgiving supernatural AMC TCM films YouTube Western Fall TV singing competition TIFF worst movies Sundance cancelled TV series Disney streaming service jurassic park Christmas sequels critics Esquire ViacomCBS best hist Television Critics Association zombies Creative Arts Emmys Funimation Winners Premiere Dates Set visit Arrowverse Brie Larson Travel Channel news TLC Amazon Studios period drama deadpool theme song Crackle Rock NBC Apple anthology stand-up comedy TCA 2017 Captain marvel Freeform Box Office Hulu Walt Disney Pictures Pop adenture Spring TV teaser harry potter Rocky obituary cancelled women justice league video new york superhero Syfy nature saw ABC A24 festivals rom-coms TNT movie Hear Us Out war 90s razzies Rom-Com USA Network GoT ABC Signature 93rd Oscars DGA DC Universe cults Musical cops History doctor who king kong toy story TV movies HBO crime twilight Lionsgate archives The Walking Dead Superheroes FX olympics tv talk south america Trivia screenings WGN RT History strong female leads remakes Sundance Now Pet Sematary documentaries OWN Universal know your critic Chernobyl Holiday christmas movies diversity First Look Logo mutant stop motion ghosts pirates of the caribbean The Walt Disney Company President spanish language sports documentary Netflix Christmas movies universal monsters HBO Go Election 71st Emmy Awards animated BBC America Paramount Plus Lucasfilm 007 Hallmark Christmas movies blockbuster Quiz french Watching Series casting canceled TV shows target Superheroe police drama franchise Marvel Mystery Star Trek OneApp video on demand indiana jones BET streaming VICE Sneak Peek scary movies Baby Yoda 2019 romance international halloween tv sitcom Starz Avengers BBC One technology See It Skip It SDCC Mary Poppins Returns Lifetime Christmas movies National Geographic Pixar rotten Ghostbusters aliens popular Disney+ Disney Plus basketball Mary Tyler Moore Horror dramedy elevated horror X-Men 72 Emmy Awards 45 TV Land finale kong Marvel Television NBA Rocketman crossover james bond Endgame CBS All Access Polls and Games The CW venice 2021 DirecTV historical drama Sundance TV comics Summer psycho laika The Purge Crunchyroll facebook American Society of Cinematographers Family revenge ABC Family Video Games fast and furious Wes Anderson serial killer comedies Infographic joker Sony Pictures Super Bowl Tarantino TV One Warner Bros. new zealand game show 24 frames 2015 Discovery Channel name the review mockumentary LGBTQ ratings robots jamie lee curtis mission: impossible Apple TV+ fresh quibi RT21 Spike HBO Max Photos hollywood Turner Classic Movies book YouTube Premium renewed TV shows LGBT marvel cinematic universe canceled batman 2016 all-time Pop TV Best and Worst 2018 Image Comics 2020 dc Tubi Reality NYCC Emmy Nominations halloween cinemax concert Anna Paquin YA BAFTA Certified Fresh television Music VOD indie TruTV Academy Awards Showtime free movies E3 Winter TV toronto Chilling Adventures of Sabrina GLAAD cancelled TV shows MTV SundanceTV Dark Horse Comics based on movie lord of the rings biography Cannes screen actors guild CBS disaster football Paramount Network The Academy Red Carpet dragons Emmys Netflix TCA Winter 2020 Extras australia kaiju child's play FXX Grammys breaking bad nfl USA independent WarnerMedia award winner Shondaland 20th Century Fox 99% blaxploitation Legendary legend Character Guide zombie Opinion APB cats Nominations prank The Witch thriller Interview directors satire Mindy Kaling Awards Masterpiece Toys VH1 FX on Hulu new star wars movies game of thrones suspense BBC richard e. Grant zero dark thirty heist movie DC Comics cancelled television space book adaptation 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards BET Awards Peacock First Reviews Nat Geo italian Disney Plus children's TV adaptation cooking boxing high school monster movies 21st Century Fox Cosplay docuseries Marvel Studios unscripted spinoff Reality Competition Podcast japanese streaming movies Star Wars Paramount FOX true crime Heroines discovery Holidays stoner Amazon Prime Video MCU Writers Guild of America vampires asian-american CW Seed Action TV spain Classic Film IFC Disney Channel Turner natural history black Television Academy Vudu cars SXSW what to watch comic Tumblr aapi hispanic cartoon travel live action Adult Swim Cartoon Network Animation Comics on TV New York Comic Con politics superman versus festival romantic comedy trailers Tokyo Olympics 2017 spider-man 4/20 CMT witnail talk show TCA green book slashers transformers Film Festival sag awards YouTube Red rotten movies we love Comedy Central E! Women's History Month emmy awards sequel Fantasy CNN PlayStation anime Binge Guide composers blockbusters Fox News telelvision Musicals Valentine's Day Oscars Black History Month Nickelodeon Sci-Fi criterion Comic-Con@Home 2021 TBS psychological thriller Elton John docudrama movies classics comiccon Countdown Pirates reboot science fiction kids Year in Review ESPN boxoffice Ovation TV renewals crime drama PaleyFest Drama Lifetime series IFC Films ITV japan Disney die hard miniseries Country a nightmare on elm street Film social media MSNBC Stephen King Tomatazos The Arrangement PBS nbcuniversal adventure Trailer 1990s godzilla Mary poppins Pacific Islander dark Biopics political drama Food Network dogs El Rey comic books reviews foreign scorecard Song of Ice and Fire rt archives dceu parents Marathons Pride Month spy thriller TCA Awards worst hidden camera A&E Apple TV Plus medical drama Comic Book Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ellie Kemper Teen golden globes werewolf Calendar latino Epix Shudder Kids & Family