Rio‘s certainly had a nice run, but it looks as though its control over the domestic box office is about to come to a screeching halt. We’ve got four new big releases hitting theaters this weekend, one of which is poised to open in over 3,500 theaters, Fast Five. The franchise began its run with a nice $40.1 million start while the second film boosted that number to $50 million. However, the third only managed to pull in $24 million its first weekend out, but the fourth demolished its predecessors debuting with an astonishing $71 million. Can Fast Five keep the bar that high? Actually, it could raise it. Fast and Furious earned its truckload of cash the first weekend of April 2009. This time around, the release comes just before the summer season and will likely benefit from the hype, perhaps snagging as much as $75 million giving it the highest opening of 2011.
Disney’s Prom will see the next widest release, arriving in 2,700 theaters. Clearly, Prom’s got its eye on the High School Musical crowd. It doesn’t stand much of a chance at pulling in High School Musical 3 numbers, somewhat due to the fact that it’s opening in about 1,000 less theaters, but it could wind up on par with 2003’s The Lizzie McGuire Movie. That one opened in 2,825 theaters just a weekend after Prom’s debut and pulled in about $17 million, an amount that should be an easy grab for Prom.
Next up, in 2,500, is Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. This could be yet another disappointing weekend for The Weinstein Company. After Scream 4 failed to post big numbers, this sequel is likely to suffer the same fate. First off, who even saw the first Hoodwinked anyway? That one came out back in 2005 and only opened with $12.4 million. The sheer fact that it’s a sequel doesn’t earn it much clout and neither will advertising because I’ve yet to see a single poster, commercial or trailer for this one. Then there’s the fact that the film currently stands at a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. This could wind up being Alpha and Omega all over again and only open with $9 million. Poor Hayden Panettiere.
Lastly for the newcomers we’ve got Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. This one could be in trouble, too. It’s only arriving in 1,000 theaters, so that gives it no shot at catching the competition to begin with and then it’s got the obscurity of the material working against it. Dylan Dog is labeled a horror comedy and that brand itself raises questions; is it like Scary Movie or more like Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Either way, the only ones who’ll likely turn out for this one are fans of the source material, which just isn’t mainstream enough to make the film a theatrical success. This one could follow in the footsteps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and take about $4,233 per theater giving it a total of $4 million for week one.
As for the old timers, Rio is poised to lead the pack yet again. So far, it’s slightly outperforming Rango and will likely continue to do so in week three. Rango dropped 33.3% from week two to three, so Rio could only take about a 30% hit, especially with such weak competition in the animation department. That would leave it with another $18 million. In true Madea fashion, Madea’s Big Happy Family could see a hefty week two drop, at least 55%, which would give it $11 million this time around.
Water for Elephants should hold on stronger than Robert Pattinson’s last non-Twilight release, Remember Me. Remember Me opened with just $8.1 million with a $3,657 theater average while Water for Elephants kicked off its run with $16.8 million and $5,979 average. Should the per theater earnings remain roughly $2,000 higher than Remember Me’s week-to-week in take, Water for Elephants should get $3,500 per screen in week two, giving it a total of $9 million for the weekend.
While Hop did get a nice holiday boost, now that Easter has come and gone, Hop will follow suit potentially losing as much as 60% of its week four earnings leaving it with about $5 million for week five. As for Scream 4, it’s down, down, down. Should the film experience another 60% loss, it’ll be left with merely $3 million, potentially putting it in competition with both African Cats and Soul Surfer. However, should African Cats follow in the footsteps of its Disneynature predecessor, Oceans, and lose 57% from week one to two, it’ll only take in just over $2 million, leaving Scream 4 safe and sound in the ninth spot. African Cats will be left to duke it out with Soul Surfer for #10. Soul Surfer only lost 31.4% from week one to two and then just 25.2% from week two to three. That drop will likely grow, but perhaps reach no more than 35% to 40%, giving the film another $3 million and stealing that last spot from African Cats.
1. Fast Five
4. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family
5. Water for Elephants
6. Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
8. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
9. Scream 4
10. Soul Surfer
By Perri Nemiroff (via Box Office Mojo)