Weekend Wrap-Up

Easter Weekend Gives Life to Rio, Box Office

By John Hamann

April 24, 2011

Oh no! That statue was in the movie 2012! We're doomed!

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Who is happy it got propped up by Twi-nuts? Reese Witherspoon. The Walk the Line star has only had one hit film since that Johnny and June Cash flick in 2005, and that was Four Christmases - and if you've seen that one, you have my condolences. Witherspoon appeared in the loud Christmas flop How Do You Know with Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson. That one cost $120 million to make and it earned $30 million at domestic theaters. Had it not opened at Christmas, the damage would have been even worse. For Robert Pattinson, this is his first $10 million plus opening outside of the Twilight and Harry Potter franchises, and at least for me, hopefully his last.

Fourth spot this weekend goes to Hop, as it enjoys an expected Easter bounce. Last weekend, the cute drum playing bunny earned $10.7 million, as it got completely trounced by the open of Rio, off almost 50% from the weekend before. This weekend, Hop increased its take to $12.5 million, up 16%. Was it worth dropping Hop into an early-April slot to take advantage of Easter? So far, Hop has earned $100.5 million against a budget of $63 million, so I would say the experiment worked. However, the bottom will fall out next weekend when Hoodwinked Too arrives at theaters.

Way down in fifth is the quickly forgotten Scream 4, which languishes this weekend. Scream 4 earned only $7.2 million in its second frame, down an alarming 62% this weekend. After a somewhat softer than expected opening, followed by a drubbing in a second frame where there was no real competition, one has to wonder if this franchise will continue to crank out films, as obviously, word-of-mouth isn't happening. So far, Scream 4, with its $40 million budget, has earned $31.2 million.

Sixth goes to African Cats, the new Disney nature documentary. Considering this one went out to only 1,220 venues, it did quite well, earning $6.4 million. It has per venue average that plays with the big boys, as it came in at $5.246. The opening weekend take is less than that of Earth, another Disney/Earth Day doc that opened to $8.8 million in 2009. It's closer to Oceans, which opened to $6 million in 2010. Budget data was not released, but one has to assume an amount in the $15-20 million area.


Seventh goes to the leggy Soul Surfer, as Dennis Quaid finds himself in another leggy sports drama (Quaid was in The Rookie, which opened to $16 million and finished with $75 million). Soul Surfer started with a surprise debut of $10.6 million, dropped 31% in its second frame, but has a much better hold this weekend, earning $5.6 million and dropping only 23%. Sony's Tri-Star and FilmDistrict put this one together for $18 million, and will see success out of this one. Soul Surfer has now earned $28.7 million, and could see $45 million before it's through.

FilmDistrict has another hit in eighth with Insidious, which is now in its fourth weekend. Insidious earned $5.4 million, off a tight 20% from last weekend. Since opening to $13.3 million, Insidious has seen drops of only 29%, 28% and now 20%. Don't forget that this little horror film was a $1.5 million pickup for FilmDistrict, and it has now earned $44.2 million.

The bottom two rungs of the chart are separated by only a couple hundred thousand. Ninth is Hanna, which took in $5.3 million and dropped 28%. It has a total of $31.7 million against a budget of $30 million. Tenth goes to Source Code, which earned $5.1 million and dropped 18%. Source Code has a total earned of $44.7 million against a budget of $32 million.

Overall, things are looking up as we head into the summer movie season. The top 12 films this weekend earned $124.1 million, well ahead of last year's take of $89.7 million. Next weekend starts bringing the big films. Universal opens Fast Five, as the studio hopes to have an opening in the same ballpark as Fast & Furious, which took in $70 million over its opening weekend in 2009. Other openers include Hoodwinked Too, Prom, and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.

Top Weekend Box Office for 4/22/11-4/24/11 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Rio 20th Century Fox $26,800,000 - 32% $81,261,126
2 Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family Lions Gate $25,750,000 New $25,750,000
3 Water for Elephants Twentieth Century Fox $17,500,000 New $17,500,000
4 Hop Universal $12,460,917 +16% $100,499,917
5 Scream 4 Weinstein Co. $7,154,000 - 62% $31,158,000
6 African Cats Disneynature $6,400,000 New $6,400,000
7 Soul Surfer $5,600,000 - 23% $28,664,000
8 Insidious FilmDistrict $5,383,744 - 20% $44,177,538
9 Hanna Focus Features $5,276,801 - 28% $31,717,987
10 Source Code $5,063,000 - 18% $44,664,244
11 Arthur Warner Bros. $4,100,000 - 39% $29,251,000
12 Limitless Relativity Media $2,646,000 - 28% $73,983,594
  Also Opening/Notables
  POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold Sony Pictures Classics $135,139 New $135,139
  Incendies Sony Classics $54,582 New $54,582
  When Harry Tries To Marry Alerion Services $23,723 New $23,723
  The Conspirator Roadside Attractions $2,250,000 -36% $7,000,000
  Atlus Shrugged: Part I Rocky Mountain Pictures $878,709 -48% $3,094,490
  The Double Hour Samuel Goldwyn $31,000 +2% $78,000
  Your Highness Universal Pictures $1,676,010 - 58% $19,733,965
  The Lincoln Lawyer Lions Gate $1,850,000 - 36% $53,441,932
  Win Win Fox Searchlight $1,125,000 - 12% $6,647,434
  Jane Eyre $782,372 - 21% $7,913,203
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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