Fox toon soars with $10.7 mil in second frame

In its soph sesh, 20th Century Fox’s “Rio” topped Friday’s box office with $10.75 million at 3,842 locations, bringing its domestic cume to $65.2 million.

Good Friday grosses tend to be strong, with 68% of students home on spring break and most adults taking the work day off, likely contributing to “Rio’s” 4% increase over its opening night take.

Lionsgate’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family” came in a close second at $10.5 million in 2,288 theaters. Pic should do well, even on a typically slow Easter Sunday. Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?,” which opened in the Easter frame last year, saw a 13% drop from Friday to Saturday, but it also wasn’t part of the helmer’s historically successful “Madea” franchise.

“Rio” and “Happy Family” should stay neck-and-neck throughout the weekend. Fox’s toon is the best-performing family film this year and drew in strong mid-week numbers, but Lionsgate’s newest “Madea” installment is expected to perform very well in the South where some multiplexes are running it on as many as eight or nine screens.

Additionally, ethnic-skewing films usually play especially well on Easter Sunday, which bodes well for the Perry pic.

Fox’s lit adaptation “Water for Elephants” pulled in third with $7 million at 2,817 engagements, followed by U’s Easter-themed “Hop” at $4.86 million and 3,616 locations. Disney’s nature doc “African Cats” rounded out the top five in its opening night with $3.3 million from 1,220 locations.

“African Cats” edged out notable holdovers like Weinstein Co.’s “Scream 4,” which made $2.8 million at 3,314 locations, and should land in the $6 million-$7 million range this weekend.

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