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Despite “Elephants” and “Cats”, Birds Still Top Food Chain

In a startling upset, Rio stole Easter weekend from both Tyler Perry and Water for Elephants. On the back of stronger reviews and a family friendly appeal, the movie about mating endangered birds won the box office for the second week in a row. Currently, with the added $26.8 million, the animated feature stands at $81.2 million total.

The fellow children’s movie in the races came in at fourth place. Hop just crossed $100 million with the bonus of $12.4 million that it took over the bunny-themed holiday. When it comes to animals, the least-favored seems to be the wild cats of Kenya. African Cats, in typical documentary fashion entered into the charts with $6.4 million and a sixth-place finish.

Water for Elephants, a romantic drama based upon a book, faired better. It earned $17.5 million and third place behind “Madea’s Big Happy Family.” Dramas of that sort bleed slowly, so although it is not the biggest earner it will have a decent take in the end. Tyler Perry’s yearly African- American comedy made $25.7 million, about $1 million shy of first place. His offerings start strong but fade rapidly. He’ll surely be back next year. Rounding out the top five is Scream 4. It is still quite a disappointment with $7.1 million adding to its $31.1 million tally.

The Top Ten

1.  Rio - $26.8M (weekend)…$81.2M (gross)
2.  Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family - $25.7M…$25.7M
3.  Water for Elephants - $17.5M…$17.5M

4.  Hop - $12.4M…$100.5M
5.  Scream 4 - $7.1M…$31.1M
6.  African Cats - $6.4M…$6.4M
7.  Soul Surfer - $5.6M …$28.6M
8.  Insidious - $5.3M…$44.1M
9.  Hanna - $5.2M…$31.7M
10. Source Code - $5.0M …$44.6M

Blockbuster season has arrived, and one week early at that! No, it is not officially summer, however that never stopped a Hollywood executive from attempting to snatch a few extra dollars out of your wallet. This Friday is the premiere of Fast Five, the fifth installment in the never-ending franchise. The previous installment boasted above its predecessors earning $70 million in its first weekend. The latest brings back the cast of the originals and adds into the formula Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the adversary. All of this has created ample buzz. The movie is big, dumb, loud, and of course — fast. Watch it top the charts and revive the industry.

Behold, a few other movies dare attempt counterprogramming! The Weinstein Company will unleash an animated feature, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. The Weinsteins recently failed with an overdue sequel in Scream 4. Now they have gone and done it again, but a short few days later. The first came out in 2005 to the tune of a $12 million opening and $100 million worldwide closing. I suppose that is good enough for a sequel, but why now? It doesn’t look good for the brothers.

Amazingly, a limited feature is also in the mix. At little more than 100 locations, a horror comedy — a notoriously poor sub-genre — will debut. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night stars former Superman Brandon Routh in the titular role. With little advertising this will be the bottom of the heap.

The second largest, and final opening, belongs to Prom. Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock but I have not heard anything about this movie. So it concerns me that its opening is only 1,000 cinemas shy of the leader Fast Five. Buena Vista is not short on cast, why no marketing for their teen comedy? It will likely be the largest relative fail of the week as Fast Five snuffs out its rivals.


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