Based on Friday's box office, the Easter Weekend looks like it will be hopping in ticket sales. Last week's champ "Rio" stayed on top with another $10.8 million and $65.2 million in just eight days. The Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios family flick is a global hit having already pulled in over $200 million worldwide.
By end of day Sunday, "Rio" should just sneak by this weekend's top newcomer, "Madea's Big Happy Family." The latest melodramatic comedy from the very busy Tyler Perry found $10.5 million on Friday. That should result in a $25-26 million three-day depending on how Sunday's holiday affects Perry's passionate fanbase. The last Madea movie, "Madea Goes To Jail," debuted to $14 million and a $41 million weekend in February of 2009. Based on this weekend's estimate, Lionsgate may have miscalculated a bit by releasing "Madea" on what turned out to be such a competitive frame.
Somewhat, but not all that surprising in third was "Water for Elephants." The Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon period romance found $7 million for what could be anywhere from a $16-20 million weekend. Pattinson's last non-"Twilight" opening, "Remember Me," dropped almost 20% from Friday to Saturday after his devotees rushed to theaters opening day. If the film is playing broader than Pattinson's fans it could honestly surprise as pre-release polling predicted around a $15 million debut.
Fourth place went to "Hop" which found another $4.9 million and what should be an $10-11 million three-day. The Universal Pictures animation-live-action hybrid should pass the $100 million mark by end of day Sunday.
"African Cats" growled to $3.3 million in only 1,220 theaters for fifth. The DisneyNature documentary will be content to find $7-8 million for the weekend and an impressive per screen average.
Proving the appetite for a new "Scream" wasn't very big, "Scream 4" fell 62% from it's opening day for just $2.8 million on its 8th day. The Weinstein Company release has made $26.8 million so far.
Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.