Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

April 23, 2011

Maybe he shouldn't have rolled in bird seed.

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Madea's Big Happy Family

Tyler Perry assumes his alter ego once more and the result is $10.4 million on Friday, good for second place. This is a step back from the last Madea movie, 2009's Madea Goes To Jail, which opened to $14.7 million and had a $41 million weekend, a 2.78 weekend multiplier. Easter is not a very good box office day (as we'll discuss later), so things are not looking very good for the Big Happy Family, especially since Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too opened over Easter weekend last year to $29.3 million, with a 2.4 multiplier. However, the presence of Madea should offset that a little bit and it will likely be neck and neck with Rio for the weekend crown. Madea's Family Reunion should have a weekend of $28.3 million.

Water for Elephants

Book adaptation Water for Elephants earned $7 million on Friday, which will make it the most successful non-Twilight movie, non-Harry Potter movie for Robert Pattinson in nearly no time at all. That said, it's not in store for a very good remainder of the weekend. Even if Saturday is good, Sunday business will hurt it severely. Look for a weekend of $16.8 million.


African Cats

Finally, Earth Day release African Cats earned $3.3 million on Friday, placing fifth. In 2009, Earth had a Friday take of $2.9 million (after opening on Wednesday), while last year's Oceans earned $2 million (after a Thursday release). With Earth Day falling on Friday, it's no wonder its opening topped both of those films, but things won't really work in its favor beyond that. Call it a weekend of $7.2 million.


Wait, Madea's Big Happy Family was second on Friday? Yup. Holding onto first place on Friday was a Good Friday-inflated Rio, with $10.9 million, that's a, well, 5% increase from last Friday. Keep in mind that Good Friday is a really good box office day, while Easter Sunday is pretty much an anti-holiday, so it'll probably even out. Last Easter weekend included the second weekend of How to Train Your Dragon, where it saw a 8.9% decline but had a weekend multiplier of 2.6, (whereas opening weekend was a 3.6) and dropped 33% for the entire weekend. The same fate probably awaits Rio, but it should hold on just enough to be on top for the weekend since Madea came in with a bit less than anticipated. Give Rio a second weekend of $29.9 million.

Notable Holdovers

Meanwhile, Scream 4 is the anti-Rio, dropping 66% from last Friday to $2.8 million. That's...not good and the weekend won't help matters. Scream 4 should have a second weekend of $6.7 million.

Finally, perhaps predictably, Hop is up 98% from last Friday to $4.6 million (though it slides a spot from third to fourth). The rest of the weekend is a bit of a wild card, as there's never really been an Easter-themed animated movie. We'll err on the side of caution and expect it to tank a bit on Sunday (but not after a really good Saturday) and give it a surprisingly solid weekend of $14.2 million.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Rio 29.9
2 Madea's Big Happy Family 28.3
3 Water For Elephants 16.8
4 Hop 14.2
5 African Cats 7.2
6 Scream 4 6.7
7 Soul Surfer 5.9
8 Insidious 5.3
9 Source Code 4.8
10 Hanna 4.5



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