BOX OFFICE: Russell Brand Beats Russell Brand

British comedian Russell Brand owns the American Box Office this weekend as he stars in a leading role in the top two grossing films. With the exception of Hop, last week’s premieres have dropped off fast and this week’s new releases are likely destined for the same fate at this time next Sunday. There are three weeks until the summer Box Office kicks in and brings the top 12 total to over $200 million for the first time since July of last year.

Box Office Estimates
April 8-10, 2011

1) Hop (3,616 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $21.696 million

This silly animated Easter Bunny movie becomes the first of 2011 to hold the number one spot at the Box Office for two consecutive weeks and it managed to do so by a decent margin. Next week it will probably drop off a bit as another three-letter animated family film will be stealing its market – Rio.

2) Arthur (3,276 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $12.605 million

The films that finished 3rd through 5th at this weekend’s Box Office actually beat Arthur in per theatre average, but because it was on more screens, this remake was able to take in more overall dollars. The fact that it had a moderately low per theatre average does not bode well for its future Box Office performance. Maybe Russell Brand isn’t meant to be a leading man.

3) Hanna (2,535 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $12.323 million

This female-powered assassin movie had a nice opening weekend, no doubt thanks in part to the positive reviews. Since it is not playing in that many theatres, it probably won’t see any big declines over the next several weeks.

4) Soul Surfer (2,214 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $11.1 million

This film actually had the second highest per theatre average of any film in the top ten. I am rather surprised, because I have not heard a thing about it and it is light on stars, but it does have Carrie Underwood who apparently has the ability to draw in the mainstream audiences.

5) Insidious (2,419 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $9.74 million

With the successes of Paranormal Activity and now this $1.5 million film, there is no reason for studios to stop financing micro-budget horror films. It will be interesting to see if this same thought-process will ever transition to low-budget comedies or dramas. I doubt they would have the same Box Office allure, but it would be a unique experiment.

6) Your Highness (2,769 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $9.52 million

There is no way this $50 million comedy will make back its budget in domestic Box Office earnings, which is somewhat surprising because at one point last year this was one of the most talked about 2011 releases. With the starpower combination of James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, and Danny McBride it is a surprise that the film performed as it did.

7) Source Code (2,971 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $9.05 million

This moderately budgeted sci-fi thriller should make back its budget by the end of the week, before dropping off quickly once May comes around. The question that now remains is whether or not this performance will get Duncan Jones more studio directing work.

8) Limitless (2,655 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $5.69 million

With 4 weeks in the top ten, this film has done surprisingly well amongst the competition. This firmly establishes Bradley Cooper as a bankable leading man. Any predictions on how long it will be before he is cast as a superhero?

9) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules (2,881 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $4.885 million

With a drop of 51.3% between its 2nd and 3rd weekend, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 is this weekend’s biggest loser. It will definitely take another big hit next week with another family film in the mix.

10) The Lincoln Lawyer (2,420 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $4.6 million

This film and Limitless came in together, but only one is likely to hang on for another week and it appears that film will be Bradley Cooper’s endeavor, not Matthew McConaughey’s.

[Source for Estimates: Box Office Mojo]

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