Easter weekend was a feathery affair at the box office as Fox’s Rio won its second consecutive weekend with an estimated $26.8 million in ticket sales, a mere 32% drop from its opening weekend. It held off newcomers Madea’s Big Happy Family and the Robert Pattinson vehicle Water for Elephants to lead the box office Carnival once again.
Madea’s Big Happy Family gave Rio a run for its money but ultimately couldn’t overcome the birds in falling short by $1 million. Still, a $25.8 million opening is nothing to sneeze at, neither is the $11,254 million per-screen average and knowledge for distributor Lionsgate that Madea has surpassed its production budget in only three days.
Water for Elephants marked the first legitimate test of Robert Pattinson’s ability to carry a film away from the Twilight franchise. Some estimates pegged it as opening between $10 and $15 million, but the romantic drama based on Sara Gruen’s novel that also stars Reese Witherspoon overperformed in opening to $17.5 million. As expected the vast majority of those who saw Water for Elephants were female.
Fourth place went to Hop which benefited from the Easter tie-in to rake in $12.5 million, an increase from its previous weekend. Hop is now guaranteed to cross the $100 million mark and is another much needed hit for Universal.
Wes Craven’s Scream 4 took fifth place with $7.2 million after an unsurprising steep drop from its opening frame. The film should fade fast from theaters and then perform strongly on Blu-ray and DVD before you know it.
The other newcomer, Disney’s African Cats, took in around $6.4 million through its first three days. That’s right on par with last year’s DisneyNature film Ocean’s.
Rounding out the top 10 was Soul Surfer with $5.6 million, Insidious with $5.4 million, Hanna with $5.3 million and Source Code with $5.1 million. Insidious and Source Code are both approaching the $45 million mark and should finish their theatrical runs at or just north of $50 million.
Next weekend the summer box office kicks off in a big way with Universal’s Fast Five, the sequel Hoodwinked 2, Disney’s Prom, and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. Fast Five is already open in Australia where it beat out Paramount and Marvel’s Thor. Expect Fast to open to huge numbers here in North America and easily dethrone Rio.