You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Rio’ soars on Easter weekend

Toon tops holiday frame with $26.8 mil

In what was expected to be a tight race between “Rio” and “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family,” 20th Century Fox’s 3D animated pic managed to hang on to the domestic B.O.’s top spot with an estimated $26.8 million, showing the expected strength of families at the multiplexes during Easter weekend.

Perry’s brand popularity among ethnic auds and with families on Easter Sunday has made him a consistent player over the holiday, this time with Lionsgate’s “Happy Family” posting a solid $25.8 million.

“Rio,” which has cumed $81.3 million domestically, brought in an additional estimated $44.2 million in 67 overseas markets, lifting the international tally passed $200 million. Animated feature’s worldwide cume is $286 million, making it 2011’s best global performer after just three weeks.

While Fox’s toon scored a narrow Stateside victory, Perry’s newest pic debuted in line with what pre-weekend tracking had suggested, marking another strong start for the helmer and his fourth-best opener behind “Madea Goes to Jail,” with $41 million in 2009, and “Madea’s Family Reunion,” which bowed to $30 million in 2006. Last year, Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?” debuted Easter weekend with $29.3 million, but that was in a more robust market.

Overall grosses this year were up 34% over the same frame in 2010, though it’s not a fair comparison since that weekend wasn’t a holiday.

Fox’s adult-targeted swooner “Water for Elephants” opened well, scoring $17.5 million playing at 2,817 locations. Despite the presence of Robert Pattinson, lit adaptation played overwhelmingly to women over 25, who contributed 70% of the film’s opening take.

Meanwhile, Disney’s latest Earth Day-timed nature docu, “African Cats,” from Disneynature, opened to a solid $6.4 million from 1,220. That’s better than the Mouse’s “Oceans,” which bowed this weekend last year with $6.1 million.

Among the frame’s top-holding repeat players, Universal’s Easter-themed “Hop” was up 17% over last weekend with an estimated $12.5 million, bringing domestic cume passed $100 million. Overseas, “Hop” took in a projected $10.7 million for an international tally of $47.2 million.

The Weinstein Co.’s “Scream 4,” with a cume of $31.2 million through Sunday, dropped a considerable 62% in its second outing, with an estimated $7.2 million for the weekend.

The frame’s bottom holdover half, led by Sony’s “Soul Surfer,” all fell less than 30% — mostly boosted by increased holiday traffic.

In the No. 7 spot, “Soul Surfer” tallied $5.6 million in its third outing, with a cume of $28.7 million; FilmDistrict’s “Insidious,” in its fourth frame, followed with $5.4 million, cuming $44.2 million. Kid-assassin thriller “Hanna,” from Focus Features, was down 28% with $5.3 million, and Summit’s “Source Code” dropped just 18% with $5.1 million. “Hanna” has cumed $31.7 million domestically; “Source Code,” $44.7 million.

Easter demo derby

Lionsgate distrib topper David Spitz said “Happy Family” didn’t play as young as Perry’s previous Madea pic, “Madea Goes to Jail.” That’s mostly due to the market’s recent malaise with under-25 auds as “Happy Family” scored 69% of its opening take from those over 25.

Pundits expect Sunday box office to be down overall, but family films like “Rio” and “African Cats” should fare fine. Traditionally, Perry pics have done exceptionally well on Easter Sunday because the helmer’s following also is made up of family filmgoers. “We anticipate a solid Sunday based on his two previous titles,” Spitz said.

As expected, “Happy Family” drew 81% of its opening from African-Americans, with strong turnouts in Baltimore, Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

“Rio” and “Hop” both benefited as the majority (68%) of students were out of school on Friday, with many parents off work to spend time with the family. Last week’s spring break-fueled mid-week perfs, as well as the holiday lead-in, were primary reasons why Fox and U, respectively, decided to launch their films during the B.O.’s early-to-mid April corridor.

Specialty holiday

Sony Pictures Classics launched a pair of specialty pics in limited release this weekend: Morgan Spurlock’s Sundance docu “Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” grossed an estimated $135,139 from 18 U.S. locations, while Oscar foreign-lingo candidate “Incendies” earned $54,582 at three domestic playdates.

“Greatest Movie,” with a per-screen average of $7,506, did much better than Spurlock’s “Freakonomics,” which averaged just $1,595 from 20 debut theaters last year. “Incendies” similarly outmatched Sony Classic’s Oscar-winning Danish pic “In a Better World,” which bowed Stateside on April 1 with an opening per of $8,264 from a comparable four locations.

Gotham’s Metropolitan Opera continued its fifth season of live transmissions Saturday, screening Richard Strauss’ “Capriccio” for an estimated $2.09 million in North America. It was seen live on more than 750 screens, with an additional 300 in a total of 32 European and Latin American countries.

More Film

  • Space Jam

    'Space Jam 2' Gets Summer 2021 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has set a July 16, 2021, date for its live-action/animated sports comedy “Space Jam 2,” starring LeBron James. Terence Nance, creator of the HBO show “Random Acts of Flyness,” is directing the sequel. His credits include “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty,” “Swimming in Your Skin Again,” and “Univitellin.” The movie marks James’ first [...]

  • Gwendoline Christie Star Wars Episode VIII

    Film News Roundup: Gwendoline Christie Joins Jason Segel-Dakota Johnson Drama 'The Friend'

    In today’s film news roundup, Gwendoline Christie is cast in “The Friend,” film preservationist Kevin Brownlow is honored, Demi Moore’s “Corporate Animals” gets sold, and BondIt Media Capital hires a CFO. CASTINGS “Game of Thrones” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” star Gwendoline Christie has joined the cast of “The Friend” starring Jason Segel, Dakota [...]

  • Heather Parry Live Nation

    Heather Parry Fired From Live Nation Productions

    Live Nation Entertainment announced Thursday that Heather Parry will leave the company following a Variety investigation into allegations of workplace bullying. Parry ran Live Nation Productions, the TV and film arm of the touring conglomerate, for three years. In December, Variety reported that Live Nation’s human resources department had been repeatedly warned that Parry was [...]

  • A still from Sea of Shadows

    Sundance Film Review: 'Sea of Shadows'

    It’s a decidedly grim circle of life that moves us all in “Sea of Shadows,” a tight, troubling documentary eco-thriller that charts a compelling course of consequence from Chinese black-market apothecaries to the near-extinction of a rare whale in the Sea of Cortez, hitting on Mexican crime cartels and institutional corruption along the way. Austrian [...]

  • Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie Circle Edgar

    Matt Smith, 'Leave No Trace' Star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie Circle Edgar Wright Movie

    Matt Smith and “Leave No Trace” star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie are in negotiations to join Edgar Wright’s next film, “Last Night in Soho,” sources tell Variety. Details are vague about the psychological horror movie, other than it being set in London’s Soho district. Anya Taylor Joy is also in the cast. Production is expected to [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • Michael B Jordan denzel washington

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Denzel Washington's 'Journal for Jordan'

    Michael B. Jordan is in talks to star in Sony’s “Journal for Jordan,” a drama that will be directed by Denzel Washington. The movie, penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Virgil Williams, is based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dana Canedy’s love affair with First Sergeant Charles Monroe King. King kept a journal [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content