BOX OFFICE BEATDOWN: ‘Rio’ Flies to the Top with $26.5 Million

Tyler Perry in drag can’t beat the tropical birds of ‘Rio’.


It was another winning weekend for the movie industry with box office receipts up an estimated 34% from this time last year making everyone hope the 2011 slump is over. Rain in much of the country no doubt helped encourage moviegoers to buy a ticket and stay indoors.

You can't keep a good bird down evidently. Rio was the champ for the second weekend running. It's $26.5 million haul was enough to beat out Madea's Big Happy Family that opened to a robust $26 million. However, Tyler Perry's sixth cross-dressing film performed under expectations. Many had been projecting a $30 million opening weekend but it wasn't able to pull that off. The last two movies featuring his popular Madea character had opened at $41 million and $30 million. Are audiences getting tired of Madea?

Doing better than expected was the Robert Pattinson/Reese Witherspoon romance Water for Elephants. It seems enough Twi-hards turned out, along with older women, to bring the films opening weekend grosses to an impressive $17.5 million, about $2.5 million more than was projected. It seems like these two stars, who both needed a hit, have scored big time.

In other news, Hop managed to jump past the $100 million this weekend making it a certified hit. I hope this doesn't mean we will be forced to endure a Hop 2 next year. Speaking of animals, Disney's African Cats opened to about $6 million - a good start for a niche film. It's narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, by the way.

So that's the news. Now I'm going to hop out on the avenue (5th Avenue) with my bonnet for brunch and jelly beans. Happy Easter, everyone!

Rio was released April 15th, 2011 and stars Karen Disher, Jason Fricchione, Sofia Scarpa Saldanha, Leslie Mann, Kelly Keaton, Jesse Eisenberg, Wanda Sykes, Jane Lynch. The film is directed by Carlos Saldanha.

Hop was released April 1st, 2011 and stars James Marsden, Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, Hank Azaria, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, Hugh Laurie, Tiffany Espensen. The film is directed by Tim Hill.

Scream 4 was released April 15th, 2011 and stars Lucy Hale, Roger Jackson, Shenae Grimes, Dane Farwell, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Aimee Teegarden, Britt Robertson. The film is directed by Wes Craven.

Source Code was released April 1st, 2011 and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright, Michael Arden, Cas Anvar, Russell Peters, Brent Skagford. The film is directed by Duncan Jones.

Water for Elephants was released April 22nd, 2011 and stars Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz, Paul Schneider, Jim Norton, Hal Holbrook, Mark Povinelli, Richard Brake. The film is directed by Francis Lawrence.

African Cats was released April 22nd, 2011 and stars Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Stewart. The film is directed by Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey.

Sources: David Ozanich

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Comments (42)

  1. moviegeek

    Good numbers all around (except for Scream). Sad to see that African Cats was so timid.

    Next weekend will produce the first $40+mil weekend all year (It's about freaking time). Fast Five should get north of $70mil, maybe even $85.

    4 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  2. Ghostman

    Scream 4 has been number 1 over in the UK, so that's a good sign right? I'm with what @thedude1 said: Scream 4 will have high profits in the blu-ray/DVD/rental/VOD area when its released on home video soon.

    4 years agoby @ghostmanFlag

  3. K.Guy

    @2movieguys Okay it was probably badly adapted, but wooden acting? poorly directed? heck no! LOL

    4 years agoby @kguyFlag

  4. Diaigma

    @thedude1 - of course not, but if only 25 million, like you said, that's not a lot to make back in comparison. It doesn't have to do as much merchandising. You'd be surprised how must Scre4m stuff is out there, AND that people actually buy it.

    The amount of merchandise (and # of TV spots you see--come to think of it, I got really tired of all those repeated Piranha 3D spots) equates to the marketing budget. The more product/exposure, the bigger the budget. Those THOR Slurpee cups ought to tell you something (there's a 7 Eleven IN the movie) ;)

    Scre4m takes place in our present day, right? Their cars, phones, foods, clothes, bottled waters . . . the companies behind them have already paid on their end.

    4 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  5. TheDude1

    @diaigma That is a very good point. But Scream does not have that huge merchandise market that other big franchise like Batman have. Or even Airbender like you mentioned.

    4 years agoby @thedude1Flag

  6. Diaigma

    @thedude1 - it costs a whole lot less to make an action figure or tee shirt than what they sell for, plus the companies making the product have to pay a hefty price for the right to do it, depending. Happy Meal rights alone can account for millions. I discussed this with someone before Airbender came out. They spent 130M on marketing, and they made most of that back before the movie came out, thanks to shirts, toys, books, mangas, you name it. Even though that movie blew, it still more than doubled its (150M) budget, and is recognized as a box office success. There's many angles when it comes to the financial of things. The box office doesn't cover everything. Studios would go bankrupt if they did. Don't forget product placement. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, I've heard, covers that topic well.

    Marketing is generally covered outside box office receipts, behind the scenes, most of the time. The film's budget, for the most part, has its relationship with its box office take. That's where the "double its budget" rule ties in.

    4 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  7. TheDude1

    @moviemaniac66 Okay bomb is a pretty heavy word. Scream 4 will turn a profit with DVD/Blu Ray sales and its tv contract but as of now it has made no profit and if it keeps disappointing at the worldwide box office it won't make a cent if profit by the time it leaves theaters.

    And when I say the franchise is dead I mean that is the money sense. If they made Scream 5 for a budget of 40 million like they did with Scream 4 it would be set up for failure from the get go. Sequels often make less money especially a fifth in the franchise. So if Scream 5 barely get over 100 million worldwide that means Scream 5 probably won't even hit 80 million and with a budget of 40 million that would be a bomb.

    4 years agoby @thedude1Flag

  8. MovieManiac

    @thedude1 - The movie already surpassed it's budget, so it's not a bomb, but it is more of a disappointment. I recently watched the film on the weekend and after hearing all of the negativity on this site about the movie, i was getting prepared to be let down by the film but instead I really loved it, so i would have to disagree with you when you say that the franchise is dead. Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson have been working on a treatment for a fifth and sixth film and after seeing four on the weekend, i am really anxious to see what they have up their sleeves.

    4 years agoby @moviemaniac66Flag

  9. CelluloidDreams

    "Water for Elephants" ....Flat out stunk .......... Wooden acting...poorly directed by Francis Lawrence , he just didn't follow the book, and left out the magic!

    FInal Rating: D-

    4 years agoby @2movieguysFlag

  10. Chris

    Hell yeah I just realized that fast five comes out next Friday now that movie will beat out everyone for the #1 spot and then Thor will probably beat that movie but just gotta wait and see

    4 years agoby @unknown21Flag

  11. ejk1

    I think I am going to treat myself to a Fast Five/Thor double header on the 6th of May. A nice way to celebrate my birthday and graduation a little early.

    4 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  12. Salem6777

    but then Thor will destroy fast five

    4 years agoby @Salem6777Flag

  13. Salem6777

    @ghostman yea thats true those movies make allot of money

    4 years agoby @Salem6777Flag

  14. ejk1

    Hop passed 100 million. On Easter weekend. Is this a sign of the apocalypse?

    4 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  15. Ghostman

    @thedude1 thanx bro! I just really want the blu-ray out already lol! BTW, @Salem6777 Fast Five will destroy Rio next weekend w/my estimate of 56-60mil :)

    4 years agoby @ghostmanFlag

  16. Salem6777

    Thor will destroy Rio!

    4 years agoby @Salem6777Flag

  17. TheDude1

    @ghostman The worldwide total for Scream 4 is $49,090,812(31,158,000 domestic and 17,932,812 overseas). But tomorrow will show us the updated weekend numbers plus we should be an update with the numbers overseas.

    4 years agoby @thedude1Flag

  18. Ghostman

    F_ckin A man! just release Scre4m on blu-ray/DVD already so I don't have to wait 3 months for a movie that only made 26 million in the US! It's a bloody shame that Scream is doing so bad at the box-office :( Hopefully Scre4m will make 100mil worldwide.

    @diaigma, can u please tell me Scream 4's worldwide total as of now, will it make 100mil worldwide?

    Look on the bright-side: most movies that do bad in theatres, have a 'second life' on home video :)

    4 years agoby @ghostmanFlag

  19. TheDude1

    If it is covered by merchandise what covers the costs for the merchandise?

    4 years agoby @thedude1Flag

  20. Diaigma

    @thedude1 - sounds fair, but did you know that most of the advertising costs (especially for tent poles and franchises) is covered by merchandise? They make a "killing" on hype, which is why the cost of marketing is generally moot in the "double budget" rule.

    4 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  21. TheDude1

    @diaigma I never said it wouldn't hit some profit by the time it hit DVD/Blu Ray and got its TV contract. By that time nearly any movie can make profit.

    4 years agoby @thedude1Flag

  22. TheDude1

    And that number is pretty much a guesstimate. The Weinsteins spent 30 million to advertise Piranha 3D so it would only make sense to be close to that number.

    4 years agoby @thedude1Flag

  23. Diaigma

    @thedude1 - alright. Direct me to your sources. Those percentages of yours is news to me.

    Besides, if it doubled its budget (80M), the domestic take would be 60%. Overseas is 40%. Wouldn't that equate to 40M, for the studio? :P

    In other words, for the studio to make a profit, it MUST double its budget. That's the basic lowdown. Plus, theaters don't get much at all the first couple of weeks, which are the two biggest weeks for any release. You also need to remember DVD/Blu ray/rental revenue, which adds more than most thin. Those are the fact. Not a lie. I didn't make this stuff up. That 25M for ads, you said. Is that a factual figure? :P

    4 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  24. TheDude1

    @diaigma You are right studios don't get a lot of the first few weeks. Studios get to keep about 90 percent from the first weekend, 80 the second and keeps dropping down to about 40 percent.

    But what is really lost in this discussion is the cost to advertise the movie. That alone adds another 25 million or more.

    4 years agoby @thedude1Flag

  25. Diaigma

    @thedude1 - I made a forum on that very issue months ago. Check it ;)


    Scre4ms budget is 40M. Right now, world wide, it's at 49M. Budget made back. Now it's needs another 30M to cover ads, theater cuts, and overseas stuff. Aything after 80M is straight profit for Weinstein and co.

    4 years agoby @diaigmaFlag

  26. TheDude1

    @diaigma After reading your forum post there you left out how studios only get between 60 to 65 percent of the domestic money and only get 40 percent of the overseas money. Which throws the big lie of doubling the budget out the window.

    See even if the doubling thing were true it still ignores the cost to advertise the movie. for Scream 4 to actually make profit it needs to make about 110 million worldwide.

    4 years agoby @thedude1Flag

  27. Corey W.

    Water for Elephants should be 1. Call me a loser but I've seen every movie on that list and Water for Elephants deserves that number one spot. :/

    4 years agoby @coreyFlag

  28. TheDude1

    @diaigma How did Scream 4 make its budget back already? Studios do not get to keep all the money a movie makes. also take into account the advertising for Scream 4 which would probably add another 25 million or more.

    4 years agoby @thedude1Flag

  29. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @skywise hard to believe it hasn't made a lot in the foreign box office

    4 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

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