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Easter Sweetens Box Office Results

April 25th, 2011

That's two wins in a row. This weekend pulled in $136 million, which was 5% higher than last weekend and an impressive 37% higher than the same weekend last year. Granted, Easter landed on a different weekend last year, but this is still an impressive win. Also, it helped 2011 close the gap on 2010 to 17% at $2.84 billion to $3.41 billion. It still going to take a lot just to catch up by the end of the year, but at least there's some reason to be optimistic going into the summer.

Rio matched predictions nearly perfectly with $26.23 million over the weekend, but due to weaker than expected competition at the top, it earned first place. It also lifted its running tally to $80.81 million and by this time next week it will be the fourth film released in 2011 to hit the century mark. It might even overtake Rango for top spot on the yearly chart, but it might get beaten there, as the summer is just over a week away.

Madea's Big Happy Family missed expectations with $25.07 million during its opening weekend. This is a weaker opening than both Madea's Family Reunion and Madea Goes To Jail, but likely more than it cost to make. Also, its reviews were a tad better than expected, so Tyler Perry should be happy with this result. Even with nearly zero box office potential internationally, it should break even early in its home market run.

Water for Elephants opened with $16.84 million over the weekend, which was nearly perfectly in line with expectations. Its more mature target demographic could help its legs, while its reviews are better than average for a wide release. However, there's also a chance the Twilight fans boosted ticket sales during the opening weekend and they will quickly leave. That's something to look out for next weekend.

Easter weekend turned out to be just what Hop needed as it grew by 14% to $12.19 million to lift its running tally to $100.22 million. It became just the third film released in 2011 to reach the century mark, although with terrible reviews it will likely evaporate next weekend. That said, it might break even before it reaches the home market.

Unless Scream 4 cost a lot less than we think it did, the franchise will end here. The film was down 62% to just $7.03 million over the weekend while it has made a total of $31.04 million after two. It would have been a little disappointing had the movie opening with just $31.04 million.

The final new release in the top ten was African Cats, which placed sixth with $6.00 million. This is practically the same result as Oceans managed, but that film was considered a disappointment. Additionally, the reviews are good, but they are not great, and this could hurt its legs. These nature documentaries take years to make, so Disney will still release Chimpanzee next year and they might have their 2013 installment in the works, but they may also be looking to scale down or end these films, as they haven't been quite as financially successful as some had hoped they would be.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Rio, Madea's Big Happy Family, African Cats, Scream 4, Water for Elephants, Hop