Weekend Box Office – RIO Breaks 2011′s Box Office Losing Streak with $40 Million Debut

     April 17, 2011


Woo-hoo.  Folks, it looks like 2011 has indeed soared to its first big weekend win in months on the wings of Fox’s Rio.  The 3D animated toon rose from the ashes of a lower than expected Friday figure to earn an estimated $40 million for the three day frame.  Unfortunately, there was not a lot of love left over for Wes Craven’s Scream 4 but, no matter!  The weekend should still end up ahead of last year by approximately 12%.

Title Weekend Total
1 Rio $40,000,000 $40
2 Scream $19,300,000 $19.3
3 Hop $11,160,000 $82.6
4 Soul Surfer $7,400,000 $19.9
5 Hanna $7,327,000 $23.3
6 Arthur $6,940,000 $22.3
7 Insidious $6,857,000 $35.9
8 Source Code $6,300,000 $36.9
9 The Conspirator $3,924,000 $3.9
10 Your Highness $3,895,000 $15.9

rio_movie_poster_teaser_01Along with almost single-handedly assuring a weekend in the ‘win’ column for 2011, Rio also scored the highest weekend debut of the year at $40 million – and this time Monday’s official numbers should not necessitate a retraction as they did two weeks ago with that overly optimistic estimate for Hop. Rio launched in 3,826 locations, with over 2,500 of those screening the G-rated toon in 3D.  Additionally, the film’s number one domestic debut was echoed internationally where Rio has already taken in over $100 million.

Produced by Blue Sky Studios, the folks behind Ice Age and Horton Hears a Who, Rio was made for a relatively thrifty $90 million.  Naturally that doesn’t count marketing costs, (including a pricey Super Bowl Ad) but with a relatively glowing 71% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a first weekend in line with both How to Train Your Dragon ($43.7) and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($41.6), this has to be seen as another win for the Connecticut-based studio.

2011’s first winning weekend might have been much more impressive had Scream 4 lived up to its early projections.  Although it has been 11 years since Ghostface last graced the screen, box office watchers had predicted a weekend in the mid-twenties for the fourth entry in Wes Craven’s iconic horror franchise.  Instead Scream 4 earned an estimated $19.3 million from 3,305 locations and actually declined from Friday to Saturday.  Still, with the notoriously thrifty Dimension spending a reported $40 million on the film, Scream 4 will end up profitable – even if it puts the knife to the Scream brand for good.


If the reaction to Scream 4 was underwhelming, that may have had something to do with the continued power of Insidious.  The low-budget scarer earned an estimated $6.8 million in its third week – a decline of just 26% – bringing its domestic total to $35.9 million from that astonishing $1 million budget.

As for last weekend’s newcomers, Soul Surfer stayed strongest, holding on to its number four position with a decline of just 30% and a second weekend estimate of $7.4 million.  Focus Features’ Hanna also held well, notching a decline of 40% and an estimate of $7.3 million.  Arthur managed a decent hold of 57%, but after last weekend’s disappointing start that gives the Russell Brand comedy a domestic total of just $22.3 million after ten days.  As expected, Your Highness suffered the biggest decline of the newbies, falling 58% to number ten.  That means a new domestic total of just under $16 million, a total more fitting for a small indie hit than a star-studded, major studio release.

And speaking of small, indie pics, Robert Redford’s The Conspirator managed to debut at number nine this weekend.  The Roadside Attractions production earned a respectable $3.9 million from its initial run in 707 locations, or a per screen average of $5,550.

If all goes according to plan, next weekend should give Hollywood its second win in a row.  Not only will Tyler Perry be back (in his crowd-pleasing Madea persona) but the much-hyped adaptation of the novel Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, will hit 2,700 locations. Late April of 2010 was no blockbuster – with How to Train Your Dragon number one with just $15.3 million – so what could go wrong?


  • Gemma Klein

    Scream 4 was just another generic and derivative horror movie. This film series was already repetitious and monotonous. Nothing but a cash grab. And suckers gladly ponied up to watch it. Why do they insist on continuing this tired old franchise?? It’s the same old story over and over. Write something new Hollywood! Wonder when they’ll announce Scream 5 and that it will feature the entire casts of Glee, Gossip Girl, Jersey Shore, One Tree Hill and The Only Way Is Essex. Should be a cinch! More cash!

    • Matt1

      Ok, first off I’m guessing that you weren’t even born when the first Scream was released in ’96! I gather this by your next comment declaring your love for Robert Pattinson (thank you for not typing RPatz though!). Do yourself a favor, go see your shitty Twilight movies for the 20th time and leave the R-rated REAL horror movies alone for people who’ve gone through puberty to enjoy!

  • Gemma Klein

    I’m looking very much forward to seeing Water for Elephants. Robert Pattinson is a wonderful guy, extremely handsome, and has an accent. For all you guys out there, be headstrong. Girls like strong men that aren’t afraid to show their true feelings at times. We need to know you’re reliable, say what you mean, and will always take care of us.

    • Cali Kid


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  • Alex-mansy

    Wow, Rio looked like one of the lamest animated films of the year yet it has the biggest boxoffice.

    • ed

      It’s actually a really good movie, and is probably Blue Sky’s best.

  • João Paulo

    Rio rules