***We're looking for contributors***

'Water for Elephants' Box Office: Reese Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson Circus Drama Overperforming

Christoph Waltz, Water for Elephants

April 29

Carlos Saldanha's Rio, featuring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, and George Lopez, continued to lead the North American box office on Thursday, April 28, grossing $1.62 million according to Box Office Mojo. (Image: Christoph Waltz in Water for Elephants.)

Fast Five, starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Dwayne Johnson, opens today (including 245 IMAX locations). That means Rio's reign at the North American box office is over. Well, in a way, as Fast Five, which is expected to open north of $70m, is partially set in Rio de Janeiro.

At no. 2, Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz, collected $1.37 million. For the second day in a row, Water for Elephants had the highest per-theater average among the top-twelve movies, $487.

At no. 3, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, featuring Perry, Loretta Devine, Isaiah Mustafa, Bow Wow, Shannon Kane, and Cassi Davis, earned $1.08 million.

At no. 4, Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey's African Cats pulled in $538,000. The Disney documentary was followed by Wes Craven's Scream 4, featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell, with $458,000 at no. 5.

Next in line were Cate Blanchett-Saoirse Ronan's Hanna with $427,000 at no. 6 and AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $411,000 at no. 7.

Up one spot at no. 8, Jake Gyllenhaal-Michelle Monaghan's Source Code scored $369,000.

Rounding out the top twelve were James Marsden-Russell Brand's Hop with $361,000, Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $334,000, Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $301,000, Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $221,000.

Among the top-twelve movies Water for Elephants had the highest per-theater average, $487. Hop had the lowest, $100.

Also among the top twelve, Soul Surfer posted the highest Wednesday-to-Thursday attendance increase, up 5.5 percent; Hop posted the highest drop-off rate, down 5 percent.

Christoph Waltz Water for Elephants photo: David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency.

Carlos Saldanha's Rio, featuring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway, continued to – once again barely – lead the North American box office on Wednesday, April 27, grossing $1.55 million according to Box Office Mojo.

A little over $100,000 behind Rio was Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz. The period romantic drama collected $1.42 million at no. 2.

For the first time since it opened last Friday, Water for Elephants had the highest per-theater average among the top-twelve movies, $506. Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family lost that top position following a steep 29.5 percent drop-off rate on Wednesday.

At no. 3, Madea's Big Happy Family, featuring Perry, Loretta Devine, Isaiah Mustafa, Bow Wow, Shannon Kane, and Cassi Davis, earned $1.11 million. Its per-theater average was $486.

Madea's Big Happy Family's Wednesday revenues were down 49 percent compared to Sunday. For comparison's sake: Water for Elephants' Sunday-Wednesday drop-off rate was only 20 percent.

Up one spot at no. 4, Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey's African Cats pulled in $512,000. It was followed by Wes Craven's Scream 4, featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell, down one spot at no. 5 with $477,000.

Next in line were Cate Blanchett-Saoirse Ronan's Hanna with $430,000 at no. 6, and AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $390,000, up one spot at no. 7.

Hop, starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand, brought in $379,000, down one spot at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Jake Gyllenhaal-Michelle Monaghan's Source Code with $374,000, Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $341,000, Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $308,000, Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $215,000.

As mentioned above, among the top-twelve movies Water for Elephants had the highest per-theater average, $506. Arthur had the lowest, $111.

Also among the top twelve, Madea's Big Happy Family posted the highest Tuesday-to-Wednesday drop-off rate, down 29.5 percent; African Cats posted the lowest, down 7 percent.

Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)

April 28

Carlos Saldanha's Rio, featuring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway, continued to – once again barely – lead the North American box office on Wednesday, April 27, grossing $1.55 million according to Box Office Mojo.

A little over $100,000 behind Rio was Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz. The period romantic drama collected $1.42 million at no. 2.

For the first time since it opened last Friday, Water for Elephants had the highest per-theater average among the top-twelve movies, $506. Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family lost that top position following a steep 29.5 percent drop-off rate on Wednesday.

At no. 3, Madea's Big Happy Family, featuring Perry, Loretta Devine, Isaiah Mustafa, Bow Wow, Shannon Kane, and Cassi Davis, earned $1.11 million. Its per-theater average was $486.

Madea's Big Happy Family's Wednesday revenues were down 49 percent compared to Sunday. For comparison's sake: Water for Elephants' Sunday-Wednesday drop-off rate was only 20 percent.

Up one spot at no. 4, Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey's African Cats pulled in $512,000. It was followed by Wes Craven's Scream 4, featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell, down one spot at no. 5 with $477,000.

Next in line were Cate Blanchett-Saoirse Ronan's Hanna with $430,000 at no. 6, and AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $390,000, up one spot at no. 7.

Hop, starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand, brought in $379,000, down one spot at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Jake Gyllenhaal-Michelle Monaghan's Source Code with $374,000, Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $341,000, Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $308,000, Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $215,000.

As mentioned above, among the top-twelve movies Water for Elephants had the highest per-theater average, $506. Arthur had the lowest, $111.

Also among the top twelve, Madea's Big Happy Family posted the highest Tuesday-to-Wednesday drop-off rate, down 29.5 percent; African Cats posted the lowest, down 7 percent.

Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)

April 27

Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon in Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants
Robert Pattinson as Jacob, Reese Witherspoon as Marlena in Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants

Carlos Saldanha's Rio, featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, continued to – barely – lead the North American box office on Tuesday, April 26, grossing $1.9 million – down a whopping 43 percent from Monday – according to Box Office Mojo.

Tuesdays are almost invariably “up” box office days in the U.S. and Canada. Not this past Tuesday, apparently because spring break was over at numerous schools across the United States. Rio, Hop (-59.5 percent), and Soul Surfer (-39.5 percent) suffered particularly steep drops.

On the other hand, holding pretty much steady was Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz. The period romantic drama, which has been doing quite well among the over-25 crowd, collected $1.71 million (down only down 4 percent) at no. 2 – ahead of Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family.

Down one spot at no. 3, Madea's Big Happy Family, featuring Perry, Loretta Devine, Isaiah Mustafa, Bow Wow, Shannon Kane, and Cassi Davis, was down 27.5 percent on Tuesday, earning $1.57 million.

Even so, Perry's comedy still managed to retain the day's highest average among the top-twelve films, $690 per-theater. Water for Elephants, however, wasn't far behind, averaging $608. (On Monday, the gap was considerably higher, $953 vs. $633.)

Up one spot at no. 4, Wes Craven's Scream 4, featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell, drew $604,000. It was followed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey's African Cats with $549,000, up two spots at no. 5.

Next in line were Cate Blanchett-Saoirse Ronan's Hanna with $514,000, up two spots at no. 6, and Hop, starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand, with $505,000. Hop was down three spots at no. 7.

Down two spots, AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer scored $440,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Jake Gyllenhaal-Michelle Monaghan's Source Code with $422k (up one spot), Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $407k (down one spot), Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $364,000, Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $241,000.

Ah, Your Highness, starring James Franco and Natalie Portman finally passed the $20 million mark. Total after 19 days: $20.17 million.

As mentioned above, among the top-twelve movies Madea's Big Happy Family had the highest per-theater average, $690. Arthur had the lowest, $132.

Also among the top twelve, Hop posted the highest Monday-to-Tuesday drop-off rate, down 59.5 percent; Water for Elephants posted the lowest, down 4 percent.

Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)

April 26

AnnaSophia Robb, Lorraine Nicholson in Sean McNamara's Soul Surfer
AnnaSophia Robb, Lorraine Nicholson in Sean McNamara's Soul Surfer

Carlos Saldanha's Rio, featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, continued to lead the North American box office on Monday, April 25, grossing a solid $3.34 million according to Box Office Mojo.

Rio was down only 42 percent compared to Sunday, a small weekend-to-weekday drop particularly for a kiddie flick. Currently with an $84.15 million cume, Rio will be passing the $100 million milestone next weekend.

Featuring Tyler Perry, Loretta Devine, Isaiah Mustafa, Bow Wow, Shannon Kane, and Cassi Davis, Madea's Big Happy Family was down 60 percent on Monday, earning $2.18 million at no. 2.

Down a relatively modest 48 percent, Francis Lawrence's period romantic drama Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz, collected $1.78 million at no. 3.

Hop, starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand, was the no. 4 movie, adding $1.24 million. It was followed by Wes Craven's Scream 4, featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell, which drew $741k at no. 5 – and thus falling below the $1m-per-day mark on Day 11.

Next in line were AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $729k (down a mere down 31 percent) at no. 6 and Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey's African Cats with $661k (down 32 percent) at no. 7.

Cate Blanchett-Saoirse Ronan's Hanna pulled in $588,000 at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $541,000, Jake Gyllenhaal-Michelle Monaghan's Source Code with $518,000, Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $473,000, Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $311,000.

Among the top-twelve movies, Madea's Big Happy Family had the highest per-theater average, $953. Arthur had the lowest, $171.

Also among the top twelve, Madea's Big Happy Family posted the highest Sunday-to-Monday drop-off rate, down 60.5 percent; Soul Surfer posted the lowest, down 31 percent.

Photo: Soul Surfer (Columbia / Tri-Star)

Vin Diesel Paul Walker Jordana Brewster Fast Five Rio de Janeiro
Matt Schulze, Tyrese Gibson, Gal Gadot, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Ludacris, Fast Five

April 25

Rio de Janeiro was conspicuous at the international box office over Easter weekend (April 22-24). Kenneth Branagh's Thor, starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston, less so after opening in second place in Australia.

Carlos Saldanha's Rio was the no. 1 movie internationally for the third consecutive weekend; it was followed by Justin Lin's Fast Five, starring Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, which is partly set in Rio. (There'll be more Rio on the big screen later in the year, when The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 opens in November, as Robert Pattinson's Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart's Bella Swan spend their honeymoon there.)

Rio, featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jane Lynch, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Mann, and George Lopez, collected an estimated $44.3 million in 66 territories as per Box Office Mojo. With $6.9 million, Brazil was Rio's top market; it was followed by France ($3.9m) and Mexico ($3.1m). Rio's international total to date: $206 million. Rio, in fact, is the first 2011 release to pass the $200 million milestone overseas.

At no. 1 in the United Kingdom ($8.8 million), Australia ($8.3 million), New Zealand ($950,000) and South Korea ($3.4 million), Fast Five grossed an estimated $24 million (including pre-weekend screenings). According to Box Office Mojo, Fast Five out-grossed the opening weekends of the previous Fast and Furious movies in those four markets.

And finally, Thor drew an estimated $5.8 million in Australia, an amount Box Office Mojo places “on par with” that country's opening grosses of Clash of the Titans and the first Iron Man.

Thor will quite possibly top next weekend, when it opens in most major territories the world over.

Photo: Fast Five (Universal Pictures)

Previous post

Robert Pattinson in Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants
Robert Pattinson in Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants

Carlos Saldanha's animated 3D feature Rio, featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jane Lynch, George Lopez, was indeed the top movie on the U.S. and Canada box office chart this past Easter weekend, grossing $26.3 million according to actuals found at Box Office Mojo.

Rio collected $500,000 less than estimated; even so, it was more than $1 million ahead of the no. 2 movie, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, which actually earned $700,000 less than reported on Sunday.

Overestimation, as so often happens, inflated the figures of most of the top-twelve releases. The Robert Pattinson-Reese Witherspoon-Christoph Waltz drama Water for Elephants took in $700,000 less than estimated; African Cats $400,000 less; Hop $300,000; Insidious $200,000; Soul Surfer $150,000; Scream 4 and The Conspirator $100,000; and so on.

Featuring Perry, Loretta Devine, Isaiah Mustafa, Bow Wow, Shannon Kane, and Cassi Davis, Madea's Big Happy Family actually opened with $25.06 million.

Francis Lawrence's period romantic drama Water for Elephants collected $16.84 million, a solid debut for an adult film – especially one with less-than-stellar reviews – even if not quite as solid as what 20th Century Fox had reported on Sunday.

Hop, starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand as the rebellious son of the Easter Bunny, was the no. 4 movie, adding $12.18 million and passing the $100 million milestone on Easter Sunday. Total: $100.22 million.

Featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, and Emma Roberts, Wes Craven's Scream 4 earned $7.03 million at no. 5.

Opening at a modest no. 6, Disney's African Cats took in $6 million. Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, the documentary about African felines is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

Next in line were AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $5.43 million at no. 7 and Cate Blanchett-Saoirse Ronan's Hanna with $5.29 million at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $5.2 million, Jake Gyllenhaal-Michelle Monaghan's Source Code with $5.09 million, Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $4.06 million, Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $2.66 million.

Among the top-twelve movies, Madea's Big Happy Family had the highest per-theater average, $10,957. Arthur had the lowest, $1,468.

Also among the top twelve (barring newcomers Madea's Big Happy Family, Water for Elephants, and African Cats), Hop was the only movie that posted a weekend-to-weekend attendance increase, up 14 percent. Scream 4 posted the highest drop-off rate, down 62.5 percent; Source Code posted the lowest, down 18 percent.

Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)

Previous post

Michael Fassbender as Rochester in Cary Joji Fukunaga's Jane Eyre
Michael Fassbender as Rochester in Cary Joji Fukunaga's Jane Eyre

Robert Redford's The Conspirator, starring Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood, and Kevin Kline, was down 35 percent despite the addition of 142 theaters. At no. 13, the period political drama collected $2.28 million at 849 locations for an unexciting $2,696 per-theater average according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Faring much worse was Paul Johansson's Atlas Shrugged: Part I, which lost 48 percent of its business from last weekend even though it's screening at 55 percent more theaters. Starring Taylor Schilling as Ayn Rand's independent-minded heroine Dagny Taggart, Atlas Shrugged, despite its popularity among the Tea Party crowd, took in only $879,000 at 465 locations, averaging a meager $1,890 per site on its second week out.

In all likelihood, Atlas Shrugged will disappear fast – without managing to either recover its low $10 million budget or lead to parts II and III. Total after ten days: $3.09 million.

Atlas Shrugged's overseas box office prospects are all but nil, considering that the popularity of Ayn Rand, her philosophy, and the anti-government Tea Party movement are intrinsically American cultural phenomena.

Meanwhile, Cary Joji Fukunaga's Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, continues to do decent business in limited release. At 319 locations on its seventh weekend out, the latest film adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's classic grossed $782,000, down 21 percent after the addition of 45 theaters (about 15 percent more than last weekend). Total to date: $7.91 million.

Morgan Spurlock's POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold opened at 18 locations, bringing in $135,000. Its per-theater average was a good – for a documentary with relatively little marketing push – $7,500.

Denis Villeneuve's Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award nominee Incendies debuted with a solid $54,600 at only 3 locations, averaging $18,200 per site.

Another bit of good news: the censored PG-13-rated version of Tom Hooper's The King's Speech flopped miserably. After four weekends, the Weinstein Company's botched up version of their own Academy Award-winning film collected only $2.86 million.

Photo: Jane Eyre (Laurie Sparham / Focus Features)

April 24

Water for Elephants Robert Pattinson, Tai, Rosie the Elephant
Robert Pattinson, Tai the Elephant (as Rosie), Water for Elephants

Starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, Hal Holbrook, and Tai the Elephant (as Rosie the Elephant), Francis Lawrence's period romantic drama Water for Elephants, adapted by Richard LaGravenese from Sara Gruen's bestseller, debuted with a stronger than expected $17.5 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Water for Elephants didn't quite reach $20 millionas it might have – or at least gotten close – had Saturday figures not gone down nearly across the board among the top twelve movies on the chart. Even so, the film averaged $6,212 at 2,817 locations, a good initial figure for an adult drama in wide release.

Also, adult dramas tend to hold up well, especially at a time when there's a dearth of such fare. Despite a mediocre 44 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics, the $40 million20th Century Fox release has received a solid A- rating from moviegoers, about 70 percent of whom were women and over 25.

The good performance of Water for Elephants should be particularly good news for Robert Pattinson. If estimates hold, on its first weekend Water for Elephants took in nearly as much as the $19 million Pattinson's previous non-Twilight effort, Remember Me, grossed during its entire run last year.

Having said that, both Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz have reason to rejoice as well. On opening weekend, Water for Elephants collected more than twice the paltry $7.48 million that Witherspoon's previous vehicle, How Do You Know, earned on its debut late last year. And the circus drama certainly performed infinitely better than Witherspoon's previous dramatic foray, Rendition, which opened in 2007 with a dismal $4.06 million (about $4.7 million today) at 2,250 sites.

Christoph Waltz, for his part, has garnered widespread praise for his portrayal of the psychotic ringmaster. In fact, Waltz is the one cast member that could be remembered later this year when awards season kicks off. Water for Elephants thus shows that we'll surely be seeing more of the Academy Award-winning actor.

Overseas, Water for Elephants has opened in South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, and a handful of other countries. Its biggest market has been Russia, where it pulled in $1 million. Water for Elephants' worldwide total currently stands at $20.1 million.

Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)

Tyler Perry, Madea's Big Happy Family
Tyler Perry in drag as Madea in Perry's own Madea's Big Happy Family

At a – relatively speaking – disappointing no. 2, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, featuring Perry, Loretta Devine, Isaiah Mustafa, Bow Wow, Shannon Kane, and Cassi Davis, trailed behind Carlos Saldanha's Rio this Easter weekend in North America, opening with $25.75 million at 2,288 theaters according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Now, that's not a bad figure for a movie that cost a reported $25 million (not including distribution/marketing expenses). In fact, Madea's Big Happy Family's $11,254 per-theater average was the highest among the top-twelve movies.

Putting things in context, however, makes Madea's Big Happy Family seem both smaller and sadder.

Tyler Perry's two previous Madea outings, Madea's Family Reunion (2006) and Madea Goes to Jail (2009), opened (in February) with, respectively, $30 millionand $41 million – which would be, once again respectively, about $37 million and $44 million today. Both movies were released at 100-200 fewer theaters than Madea's Big Happy Family.

Madea's Family Reunion averaged $13,687 per theater (approx. $16,700 today), while Madea Goes to Jail's average was $20,192 (approx. $21,500 today). As mentioned above, Madea's Big Happy Family's estimated per-theater average is a considerably more modest $11,254.

Even the non-Madea Perry comedy Why Did I Get Married Too, which opened on Easter weekend last year, had a stronger debut, collecting $29.28 million (about $29.7 million today) at 2,155 locations, averaging $13,591 per site.

Something else that matters: whereas Madea's Family Reunion had a minuscule $6 million budget and Madea Goes to Jail cost a reported $17.5m, Madea's Big Happy Family, as mentioned above, had a $25 million budget.

Also, Perry is big among African-Americans – 81 percent of the crowd that checked out Madea's Big Happy Family this Easter weekend – but his movies tend to plummet after opening weekend, and they have no following overseas, where American movies earn on average about two-thirds of their grosses.

Photo: Madea's Big Happy Family (Lionsgate)

African Cats, Cheetah cubs
Cheetah and cubs, African Cats

Hop, starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand as the rebellious son of the Easter Bunny, was the no. 4 movie this Easter weekend, after Rio, Madea's Big Happy Family, and Water for Elephants. After jumping 16 percent from the previous weekend, Hop added $12.46 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Quite appropriately, Hop passed the $100 million milestone on Easter Sunday. Total: $100.5 million. Worldwide: $147.7 million. (Hop's international performance has been considerably more modest than Rio's.) Cost: $63 million.

Featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, and Emma Roberts, Wes Craven's Scream 4 plummeted this weekend, earning $7.15 million (down 62 percent) at no. 5. Total: $31.15 million. Worldwide: $49.09 million. Cost: $40 million.

Opening at a modest no. 6, Disney's African Cats took in $6.4 million, about $1 million less than expected after its solid Friday debut. That happened because African Cats was down an alarming 49 percent on Saturday, a much worse drop-off rate than that of any other top-twelve movie on the North American box office chart.

Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, the documentary about African felines is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. African Cats' per-theater average was a just okay $5,246 for a movie at 1,220 locations. (All things being equal, the fewer the number of theaters the higher the per-theater average should be. For comparison's sake: at 2,817 theaters, Water for Elephants averaged $6,212 per site.)

Next in line – and holding up surprisingly well – was AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer, down only down 23 percent, with $5.6 million at no. 7. Total: $28.66 million. Cost: $18 million.

Also proving itself resilient was Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious, down a mere 20 percent after bringing in $5.38 million at no. 8. Total: $44.17 million. Cost: $1.5 million (plus about $20m+ in marketing expenses).

Rounding out the top twelve were:

  • Cate Blanchett-Saoirse Ronan's Hanna with $5.27 million (down 27.5 percent). Total: $31.71 million. Cost: $30 million.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal-Michelle Monaghan's Source Code with $5.06 million (down 18.5 percent). Total: $44.66 million. Worldwide: $63.26 million. Cost: $32 million.
  • Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $4.1 million (down 39 percent). Total: $29.25 million. Cost: $40 million.
  • Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $2.64 million (down 28 percent). Total: $73.98 million. Worldwide: $115.98 million. Cost: $27 million.

Gone from the top twelve were James Franco-Natalie Portman-Danny McBride's Your Highness (after only two weeks), Matthew McConaughey-Ryan Phillippe's The Lincoln Lawyer, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, which passed the $50 million mark on Saturday. Current total: $50.31 million. There's no chance Rodrick Rules will match the $64 million domestic gross of the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Among the top-twelve movies, Madea's Big Happy Family had the highest per-theater average, $11,254. Arthur had the lowest, $1,480.

Also among the top twelve (barring newcomers Madea's Big Happy Family, Water for Elephants, and African Cats), Hop was the only movie that posted a weekend-to-weekend attendance increase, up 16 percent. Scream 4 posted the highest drop-off rate, down 62 percent; Source Code posted the lowest, down 18.5 percent.

Photo: African Cats (Keith Scholey / Disney Enterprises)

April 23

Taylor Schilling, Atlas Shrugged: Part I
Taylor Schilling as Ayn Rand's anti-government heroine Dagny Taggart in Paul Johansson's Atlas Shrugged: Part I

Hop, starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand, was the no. 4 movie on Friday, April 22, adding $4.86 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Currently with a $92.9 million cume, Hop should – quite appropriately – pass the $100 million milestone on Easter Sunday.

Opening at no. 5, Disney's African Cats took in $3.3 million. Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, the documentary about African felines is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

Featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, and Emma Roberts, Wes Craven's Scream 4 earned $2.75 million at no. 6.

Next in line were AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $2.35 million at no. 7 and Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $2.1 million at no. 8.

Rounding out the top twelve were Cate Blanchett-Saoirse Ronan's Hanna with $1.85 million, Jake Gyllenhaal-Michelle Monaghan's Source Code with $1.84 million, Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $1.58 million, Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $960k.

Gone from the top twelve were James Franco-Natalie Portman's Your Highness (after only two weeks), Matthew McConaughey-Ryan Phillippe's The Lincoln Lawyer, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, which should pass the $50 million mark on Saturday.

At no. 13, Robert Redford's The Conspirator was down 35 percent despite the addition of 140 theaters. The period political drama starring Robin Wright and James McAvoy collected $720k. Its per-theater average was a so-so $849.

Faring even worse was Paul Johansson's Atlas Shrugged: Part I, which took in only $307,000 at 465 theaters, down an alarming 55 percent despite the fact that the right-wing favorite is screening at 50 percent more theaters than last week. Atlas Shrugged's per-theater average was a paltry $660.

Among the top-twelve movies, Madea's Big Happy Family had the highest per-theater average, $4,589 at 2,288 locations – definitely a solid number, though disappointing when compared to Perry's two previous Madea flicks: Madea's Family Reunion opened in Feb. '06 with $4,770 (approx. $5,834 today) at 2,194 sites and Madea Goes to Jail in Feb. '09 with $7,258 (approx. $7,751 today) at 2,032 theaters.

Arthur had the lowest per-theater average, $572.

Also among the top twelve (barring newcomers Madea's Big Happy Family, Water for Elephants, and African Cats), Arthur (after losing 500 locations) posted the lowest Thursday-to-Friday attendance increase, up 81 percent. Hop posted the highest, up 175 percent.

Photo: Atlas Shrugged (Rocky Mountain Pictures)

Rio Carnival 2011
Linda (Leslie Mann) spends carnival in Rio

Carlos Saldanha's animated 3D feature Rio, featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jane Lynch, George Lopez, and others, was the no. 1 movie at the North American box office this Easter weekend, grossing $26.8 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Rio was down only down 31.5 percent despite softer than usual figures on Saturday. Most kiddie flicks go up Saturday and hold up well on Sunday, but Rio, like many other movies on the North American chart, was down on Saturday. That may have something to do with the Easter weekend itself; last year, the same phenomenon took place among several top-twelve films as well (Clash of the Titans, Why Did I Get Married Too, Alice in Wonderland, etc.).

To date, Rio has earned $81.26 million domestically, in addition to a whopping $204.7 million internationally, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That means a grand total of $283.86 million worldwide, which makes Rio the biggest box office hit of 2011. (Paramount's Rango is no. 2, with about $240m.) Unsurprisingly, Rio's top international market remains Brazil, where it added an estimated $6.7 million this weekend.

A 20th Century Fox release, Rio's budget was reportedly $90 million.

Partly thanks to Rio, with the assistance of Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family and the Robert Pattinson-Reese Witherspoon-Christoph Waltz drama Water for Elephants, the U.S. and Canada box office was up 38 percent compared to the same weekend last year.

Chiefly thanks to Rio's success throughout the week and its relatively small drop-off rate from last weekend, the domestic box office is now down 18 percent compared to last year – versus 20 percent a week ago.

It should be noted, however, that figures for the top twelve films were down 26 percent if compared to Easter weekend (April 2-4) 2010 , when Clash of the Titans opened with $61.23 million, and Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too and DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon took in more than $29 million each.

Photo: Rio (20th Century Fox)

Robert Pattinson in Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants
Robert Pattinson in Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants

Carlos Saldanha's Rio, featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jane Lynch, George Lopez, and others, topped the U.S. and Canada box office on Friday, April 22, grossing $10.75 million according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

At a – relatively speaking – disappointing no. 2, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family opened with $10.5 million. If figures hold, Madea's Big Happy Family may reach Sunday with about $25 million, which is considerably less than Perry's two previous Madea outings, Madea's Family Reunion (2006) and Madea Goes to Jail (2009), which opened (in February) with, respectively, $30 millionand $41 million.

Back in 2006, Madea's Family Reunion took in $10.46 million (about $12.79 million in 2011 dollars) on its Friday debut; Madea Goes to Jail drew $14.74 million (about $15.74 million today). Both movies opened at 100-200 fewer theaters than Madea's Big Happy Family.

Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, Hal Holbrook, and Tai the Elephant (Rosie the Elephant in the movie), debuted with $7 million, which means the period drama performed better than expected on opening day. There's a very good chance it'll end up in the high teens – possibly even up to $20 million – by Sunday evening. It all depends, of course, on whether Friday estimates are correct and if word-of-mouth/20th Century Fox's marketing machine are good enough to increase Water for Elephants' box office momentum on Saturday before the inevitable Sunday drop.

Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)

Previous post

Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Water for Elephants

Regardless of their religious preference, if any, 20th Century Fox executives apparently will have reason to rejoice this Easter weekend: both Carlos Saldanha's animated 3D feature Rio and the Francis Lawrence-directed period drama Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz, are performing above expectations.

According to early, rough estimates found at Deadline.com, Rio collected $11 million on Friday, maintaining its top spot at the North American box office. If figures hold, Rio may end up topping the weekend as well, pulling in $26m-$28 million, or at the higher end of pundits' box office predictions.

Rio features the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Rodrigo Santoro, Jane Lynch, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Mann, Jamie Foxx, and George Lopez.

The no. 2 movie on Friday was Tyler Perry's latest drag entry, Madea's Big Happy Family, which actually looks a little downcast after collecting an estimated $10.7 million on Friday. If figures hold, Madea's Big Happy Family may reach Sunday with about $25 million – in other words, smaller and unhappier than Perry's two previous Madea outings, Madea's Family Reunion (2006) and Madea Goes to Jail (2009), which opened (in February) with, respectively, $30 millionand $41 million. (Madea's Family Reunion took in $10.46 million – not adjusted for inflation – on its Friday debut; Madea Goes to Jail drew $14.74 million.)

Water for Elephants, on the other hand, may turn out to be Easter Weekend 2011's biggest surprise, pulling in $16m-$18 million, when some had predicted box office revenues to remain in the lower teens. On Friday, Water for Elephants earned an estimated $7 million.

Next in line were Hop with an estimated $4.2 million on Friday, and newcomer African Cats with $3.5 million.

Remember, those are early, rough estimates. Studio estimates for Friday will be released Saturday morning; bear in mind that it's possible Rio and Madea's Big Happy Family will end up switching places, as there's only a $300,000 gap separating them.

Weekend estimates will come out Sunday.

Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)

April 22

The animated 3D feature Rio topped the North American box office for the seventh straight day on Thursday, April 21, grossing an estimated $4.15 million according to Box Office Mojo. Directed by Carlos Saldanha, Rio features the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Rodrigo Santoro, Jane Lynch, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Mann, Jamie Foxx, and George Lopez.

Whether Rio will top the box office this Easter weekend remains unclear. Rio has been holding up remarkably well overseas – it actually sold more tickets on its second weekend in the United Kingdom than on its first – and its domestic weekday take has been quite impressive. Rio, in fact, passed the $50 million milestone on Wednesday. Yet, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family opened today. So, it all depends on whether Perry's fans have gotten tired of watching him in drag.

The two previous Madea outings generated $30 millionand $41 million on their opening weekends. Some box office pundits are expecting this third installment to bring in about $30 million. Rio could land anywhere between $20m-$28 million.

Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants, starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, and Tai the Elephant (Rosie the Elephant in the movie), will probably have a decent, though unremarkable debut. Reviews for Water for Elephants have been mixed, while non-Twilight Saga Pattinson, non-Legally Blonde Witherspoon, and non-Inglourious Basterds Waltz aren't exactly major box office attractions. In other words, the box office crown will go to either Perry or parrots.

Box-office clairvoyants are expecting Water for Elephants to collect anywhere between $12m-$18 million at no. 3. Unless, that is, Hop rises for Easter; in that case, the Pattinson-Witherspoon-Waltz period melodrama would open at no. 4.

Overall, the U.S. and Canada box office was markedly up on Thursday (spring break?), with the top ten films up 22 percent from day before and – chiefly thanks to Rio – 135 percent from the previous Thursday. Rio and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules were the only two movies with estimated grosses; all other figures listed in the follow-up post are actuals.

Photo: Water for Elephants (David James / 20th Century Fox / Regency)

AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Soul Surfer
AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid in Sean McNamara's Soul Surfer

Hop, starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand, was the no. 2 movie, adding $1.76 million.

Featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, and Emma Roberts, Wes Craven's Scream 4 earned $1.36 million at no. 3.

AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $1.02 million at no. 4 following a 35 percent increase in business. It was followed by Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $967,000, a 53 percent jump.

Next in line were Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $875,000 at no. 6 and Hanna, starring Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, and Saoirse Ronan, with $872,000 at no. 7.

At no. 8, Duncan Jones' mystery thriller Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, and Vera Farmiga, pulled in $792,000.

Rounding out the top twelve were Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $526,566, James Franco-Natalie Portman's Your Highness with $526,015, Matthew McConaughey-Ryan Phillippe's The Lincoln Lawyer with $334,000, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules with an estimated $330k.

Doing just so-so business throughout the week, Robert Redford's The Conspirator collected $287,000 at 707 sites on Thursday.

Faring even worse was Paul Johansson's Atlas Shrugged: Part I, which took in $136,000 at 299 theaters on its seventh day out, or only a few hundred dollars more than Jane Eyre at 274 locations on Day 42. (Atlas Shrugged was actually behind Jane Eyre on Wednesday.)

At 207 theaters, Born to Be Wild has been doing considerably better business than Atlas Shrugged, but costlier IMAX ticket prices have surely helped to inflate revenues. Born to Be Wild drew an estimated $180k on Thursday, averaging $870 per site.

Among the top-twelve movies, Rio, partly aided by 3D surcharges, had the highest per-theater average, $1,085. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules had the lowest average, $178 per site.

Also among the top twelve, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Your Highness posted the lowest Wednesday-to-Thursday attendance increase, around up 5.5 percent. Insidious posted the highest, up 53 percent.

Photo: Soul Surfer (Columbia / Tri-Star)

April 20

Adam Brody, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Scream 4
Allison Brie, Marley Shelton, Adam Brody, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Anthony Anderson in Wes Craven's, Scream 4

Carlos Saldanha's animated 3D feature Rio topped the North American box office for the fifth consecutive day on Tuesday, April 19, grossing $4.17 million according to Box Office Mojo. Rio features the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Rodrigo Santoro, Jane Lynch, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Mann, Jamie Foxx, and George Lopez.

Overall, the North American box office was markedly up on Tuesday, with the top ten films up 25 percent from Monday and – chiefly thanks to Rio – 71 percent from the previous Tuesday.

Another animated feature, Hop, was no. 2. Starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand, Hop added $1.56 million, a whopping 42.5 percent jump from the day before.

Featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, and Emma Roberts, Wes Craven's Scream 4 earned $1.46 million at no. 3.

Hanna, starring Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, and Saoirse Ronan, collected $866,000 at no. 4. It was followed by Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $804,000 at no. 5.

Next in line were AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $794,000 at no. 6 and Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $712,000 at no. 7.

At no. 8, Duncan Jones' mystery thriller Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, and Vera Farmiga, pulled in $709,000.

Rounding out the top ten were James Franco-Natalie Portman's Your Highness with $512,000 at no. 9 and Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $455,000 at no. 10.

Figures for Robert Redford's The Conspirator were unavailable; its Monday take is estimated to have been around $290k.

Paul Johansson's Atlas Shrugged was down 64 percent on Monday (compared to Sunday) and was up a mere 1 percent on Tuesday, grossing $135,000.

Among the top-ten movies, Rio, partly aided by 3D surcharges, had the highest per-theater average, $1,092, thus once again with a daily per-theater average above the $1k mark. Your Highness had the lowest average, $185 per site.

Also among the top ten, Scream 4 posted the lowest Monday-to-Tuesday attendance increase, up 8 percent. Hop posted the highest, up 42.5 percent.

Photo: Scream 4 (Gemma La Mana / Dimension Films)

April 19

Emma Roberts, Scream 4
Emma Roberts, Scream 4

Carlos Saldanha's animated 3D feature Rio topped the North American box office on Monday, April 18, grossing $3.27 million according to Box Office Mojo. Rio features the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Rodrigo Santoro, Jane Lynch, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Mann, Jamie Foxx, and George Lopez.

Featuring Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Emma Roberts (Eric Roberts' daughter, Julia Roberts' niece), Rory Culkin, Mary McDonnell, Heather Graham, Adam Brody, Erik Knudsen, Dane Farwell, and Nico Tortorella, Wes Craven's Scream 4 earned $1.34 million at no. 2. That means Scream 4 finally passed the $20 million mark on Day 4. Total: $20.04 million.

Hop, starring James Marsden and the voice of Russell Brand, added $1.1 million at no. 3. Hop was followed by Hanna, starring Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, and Saoirse Ronan, with $702,000 at no. 4.

The next three movies were only $1-2k apart from one another: AnnaSophia Robb's Soul Surfer with $618,000, Russell Brand-Helen Mirren's Arthur with $616,000, and Patrick Wilson-Rose Byrne's Insidious with $615,000.

At no. 8, Duncan Jones' mystery thriller Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, and Vera Farmiga, pulled in $566,000.

Rounding out the top ten were James Franco-Natalie Portman's Your Highness with $443,000 at no. 9 and Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $360,000 at no. 10.

Figures for Robert Redford's The Conspirator and Paul Johansson's Atlas Shrugged were unavailable.

Matthew McConaughey-Ryan Phillippe's The Lincoln Lawyer brought in $235,000. The generally well-received suspense drama passed the $50 million milestone on Sunday. Cume to date: $50.68 million.

Among the top-ten movies, Rio, partly aided by 3D surcharges, had the highest per-theater average, $855; thus, it fell below the $1k-per-theater daily average on Day 4. That isn't exactly great news, but it's hardly surprising. Kiddie flicks usually perform modestly on weekdays and then soar on weekends. Your Highness, for its part, had the lowest average, $160 per site.

Also among the top ten, Insidious posted the lowest Sunday-to-Monday drop-off rate, down 59 percent. Rio posted the steepest, down 71 percent.

Photo: Scream 4 (Gemma La Mana / Dimension Films)

If you liked the article 'Water for Elephants' Box Office: Reese Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson Circus Drama Overperforming, please recommend it to your friends. See floating share buttons on the left.
Follow Alt Film Guide on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

Continue Reading: Marie-France Pisier: 'The Other Side of Midnight' Actress & François Truffaut Muse Commits Suicide

Previous Post: 'Water for Elephants' Reviews: Robert Pattinson-Reese Witherspoon Romance Lacks Fire

'Water for Elephants' Box Office: Reese Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson Circus Drama Overperforming © 2004–2016 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Leave a comment about ''Water for Elephants' Box Office: Reese Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson Circus Drama Overperforming'

Important: It's perfectly fine to disagree with our own and/or other commenters' views and opinions, but thoughtfulness and at least a modicum of sanity are imperative.

In other words: Spammy, rude/abusive, bigoted, baseless (spreading misinformation), trollish/inflammatory, and/or just plain demented comments will be zapped and offenders may be banned.

Additionally, bear in mind that a) harassment will not be tolerated b) links found in comments will generally be deleted.

Most recent comments listed on top.

5 Comments to 'Water for Elephants' Box Office: Reese Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson Circus Drama Overperforming

  1. bargal20

    What the hell did they need to censor from The King's Speech to make it PG-13?

  2. flower

    the movie was pretty but lacked fire! the actors looked good but where was their passion?

  3. chloe

    I recommend for every one to watch Water For Elephants it is a very good move! And Rob is amazingly gorgeous and he is very good in every scene!! Go and see WFE

  4. faiza464

    MY doughter,my son and I watched water for elephant and we all loved it. About ROB he was very good in every scene and I recommend for every one to watch WFE it is a very good move at the end people were applauding.go see it to bleave.

  5. Betty b

    Wow.. You dotted every I and crossed every T. You gave facts not assumptions. Let me tell you , I have read some good reviews, but yours is unbiased and refreshing. Thanks

    Btw, WFE is really a great movie, I hope they start making great movies like WFE . I enjoyed the entire cast:) especially Tia the elephant.