As we steadily edge closer to summer, the Box Office receipts are only going to increase and this coming weekend could very likely be the biggest of the year. Two hotly anticipated films could both potentially break $40 million and some of the strong openers from the last several weekends are likely to remain strong.

Box Office Predictions
April 15-17, 2011

1) Rio (3,826 theatres)
PREDICTION: $44.1 million

It is going to be a very close race between the two premieres this weekend, but I suspect enough family audiences will be drawn in to give Rio the win. The reviews have been positive and the marketing has been everywhere, so it definitely has the recognition for the win.

2) Scream 4 (3,305 theatres)
PREDICTION: $43.5 million

I’m predicting that Scream 4 will actually win based on per theatre average, but since it in 500 fewer screens than Rio it won’t be able to squeak out a victory. Each of the Scream films has averaged around $100 million in cumulative domestic gross and this could very likely be the biggest of the series.

3) Hop (3,607 theatres)
PREDICTION: $13.2 million

With Rio added to the mix, Hop should take a pretty big hit. However, it is still very close to Easter which could bring audiences in for the thematic relevance.

4) Hanna (2,545 theatres)
PREDICTION: $7.7 million

Of the three films that premiered last weekend, this is likely the only one that will show any kind of legs. After initially being estimated at the third spot, it jumped up to number two. It will pass $20 million this weekend and should end its run with a modest $40 million.

5) Arthur (3,726 theatres)
PREDICTION: $6.6 million

This should be one of the biggest drops of the weekend after negative reviews and word of mouth. Russell Brand’s rule of the Box Office is soon coming to an end.

6) Soul Surfer (2,214 theatres)
PREDICTION: $6.3 million

This will probably have a strong per theatre average, but not quite enough to beat Arthur, which is in 1,500 more theatres. Since Soul Surfer is a Christian themed movie it could inspire numerous visits from local churches.

7) Insidious (2,233 theatres)
PREDICTION: $5.5 million

As I mentioned last week, this film’s success gives studios further reason to finance micro-budget horror films. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing.

8) Source Code (2,557 theatres)
PREDICTION: $4.8 million

This weekend’s receipts should put Duncan Jones’ newest film at $35 million, which is 6 times higher than his first film, Moon. This should just surpass the $32 million budget, which is not too shabby for a psychological sci-fi thriller.

9) Your Highness (2,882 theatres)
PREDICTION: $3.4 million

This bombed last weekend and it is likely to have the biggest drop this weekend. Not much of a surprise, but the budget was irresponsibly high, so the studio will feel a bit of a sting.

10) Limitless (1,885 theatres)
PREDICTION: $2.6 million

If Limitless does manage to sneak in this week it will make 5 weeks in the top ten, one of the longest for any film this year. Not bad at all considering the limited marketing push we have gotten lately.

[Theatre Counts: Box Office Mojo]

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