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‘Rio’ Is No. 1 Movie for 2nd Week on Sales of $26.3 Million

The animated comedy “Rio” was the top film in U.S. and Canadian theaters for a second week, taking in $26.3 million in ticket sales for News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox studio.

The Tyler Perry comedy “Madea’s Big Happy Family” opened in second place over the Easter weekend with sales of $25.1 million for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., researcher Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

The first-place finish for “Rio” marks 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 for 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 $80.8 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, in his recurring role 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 $16.8 million for News Corp.’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. The film is based on the novel by Sara Gruen.

“Hop” dropped to fourth from third with sales of $12.2 million. The film, combining animation and live action, was the first from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures to lead the box office this year. It has taken in $100.2 million since its April 1 release, according to

The horror sequel “Scream 4” dropped to fifth from second with $7 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.’s Disneynature division, opened in sixth place with sales of $6 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 35 percent to $121.2 million from a year earlier, said. Domestic box-office sales this year have declined 17 percent to $2.84 billion. Attendance is down 18 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for April 22-24.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
 1 RIO (3-D ANIMATED)  $26.3  3,842   $6,851   -33    $80.8    2
 2 TYLER PERRY’S MADEA  25.1  2,288   10,957    --     25.1    1
 3 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS  16.8  2,817    5,979    --     16.8    1
 4 HOP                  12.2  3,616    3,370    14    100.2    4
 5 SCREAM 4              7.0  3,314    2,122   -62     31.0    2
 6 AFRICAN CATS (DOC.)   6.0  1,220    4,921    --      6.0    1
 7 SOUL SURFER           5.4  2,240    2,427   -25     28.5    3
 8 HANNA                 5.3  2,384    2,222   -27     31.7    3
 9 INSIDIOUS             5.2  2,130    2,445   -23     44.0    4
10 SOURCE CODE           5.1  2,363    2,155   -18     44.7    4
11 ARTHUR                4.1  2,770    1,468   -40     29.2    3
12 LIMITLESS             2.7  1,363    1,955   -27     74.0    6

Top 12 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $121.2 $89.7 +35

Year-to-date Revenue

2011 2010 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $2,841 $3,412 -17 Year-to-date Attendance: -18%

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