Remember how box office watchers were counting on this weekend to become 2011’s very first big winner? A frame whose combined grosses would finally top 2010’s? With two high profile releases – Rio and Scream 4 – that seemed a reasonable conclusion and it still appears doable. Unfortunately, Friday’s estimates suggest that it will not be the unqualified rout we expected considering that last April’s strongest contender was Kick-Ass. Fox is reporting a $10.2 million opening for Rio from 3,826 locations (well over half of those in 3D). That is not much above the $9.6 million debut of the year’s top opener Rango, which had no 3D price boost in its favor. Projections originally put Rio above Rango’s weekend total but it now appears that the toon will end up well below that $38.1 figure. Meanwhile Scream 4, which many believed would win Friday, pulled in an estimated $8.3 million from 3,305 locations. That puts the sequel on track for a $22 million weekend – well below even the most conservative early projections. Finally, three films are statistically tied for fourth place with Soul Surfer, Hanna and Arthur all estimated in the $2.1 million range for Friday while The Conspirator debuted at number ten with $1.7 million. Details and analysis tomorrow.