‘Rio’ Is No. 1 Movie for 2nd Week on Sales of $27 Million

The animated comedy “Rio” was the top film in U.S. and Canadian theaters for a second week, taking in $26.8 million in ticket sales for News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox studio.

The Tyler Perry comedy “Madea’s Big Happy Family” opened over the Easter weekend in second place with sales of $25.8 million for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF), researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

The first-place finish for “Rio” is the fourth straight weekend in which a children’s film has been Hollywood’s top moneymaker. “Hop,” featuring a bunny who must save the Easter holiday, was first in the two weeks before “Rio” opened.

“Family films like ‘Rio’ tend to do well over Easter weekend,” said Gitesh Pandya, editor of Box Office Guru. “It was surprising that Tyler Perry’s film didn’t do better,” he said. It may be “the Tyler Perry machine is slowing down.”

“Rio,” featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, has taken in $81.3 million since its debut. In the film, a domesticated macaw travels from Minnesota to Rio de Janeiro to find a mate.

“Madea’s Big Happy Family” stars Perry, in drag, as the outspoken matron of a large Southern family. He also writes, directs and produces the films. “Madea Goes to Jail,” the most successful of the Madea movies, took in $90.5 million in U.S. ticket sales, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.

Pattinson and Witherspoon

“Water for Elephants” was third in its debut, with sales of $17.5 million for News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox studio. The film features “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson as a veterinary student who falls in love with a circus performer played by Reese Witherspoon. Christoph Waltz plays her husband and is based on the novel by Sara Gruen.

“Hop” dropped to fourth from third with sales of $12.5 million. The film, combining animation and live action, was the first from Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s Universal Pictures to lead the box office this year. It has taken in $100.5 million since its April 1 release, according to Hollywood.com.

The horror sequel “Scream 4” dropped to fifth from second with $7.2 million. In the movie from Weinstein Co.’s Dimension Films, heroine Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, returns to the town of Woodsboro, where she is pursued once again by serial killer Ghostface. The first three “Scream” movies generated $507 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo.

Children’s Films

“African Cats,” from Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s Disneynature division, opened in sixth place with sales of $6.4 million. The movie follows families of lions and cheetahs as the parents teach the cubs to survive. Samuel L. Jackson narrates.

Revenue for the top 12 films this past weekend gained 38.4 percent to $124.1 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Domestic box-office sales this year have declined 16.7 percent to $2.84 billion. Attendance is down 18 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for April 22-23 and estimates for today.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
1 RIO                  $26.8   3,842   $6,976   -32   $81.3   2
2 TYLER PERRY’S MADEA   25.8   2,288   11,254   --     25.8   1
3 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS   17.5   2,817    6,212   --     17.5   1
4 HOP                   12.5   3,616    3,446    16   100.5   4
5 SCREAM 4               7.2   3,314    2,159   -62    31.2   2
6 AFRICAN CATS           6.4   1,220    5,246   --      6.4   1
7 SOUL SURFER            5.6   2,240    2,500   -23    28.7   3
8 INSIDIOUS              5.4   2,130    2,528   -20    44.2   4
9 HANNA                  5.3   2,384    2,213   -28    31.7   3
10 SOURCE CODE           5.1   2,363    2,143   -18    44.7   4
11 ARTHUR                4.1   2,770    1,480   -39    29.3   3
12 LIMITLESS             2.6   1,363    1,941   -28    74.0   6


Top 12 Films Grosses:
   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $124.1         $89.7      38.4


Year-to-date Revenue:
     2011          2010
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
   $2,842.6      $3,412.4     -16.7


Year-to-date Attendance:      -17.9%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Jonathan Keehner in New York at jkeehner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.