A billionaire, teenage assassin, champion surfer, and knightly Danny McBride were no match for an animated rabbit with unnaturally large eyes, as Universal’s Hop topped the box office for the second weekend in a row with $21.7 million, according to studio estimates. The PG family film, about a teenage hare who’d rather be a rock band drummer than fulfill his duty as the Easter Bunny, slipped a mild 42 percent its second week. The live-action/animation hybrid cost $63 million to produce, and has already snatched $68.2 million. However, it may take a big hit next week when the CG-animated Rio swoops into theaters.
Russell Brand voiced Hop’s leporid protagonist, and the British actor also starred in the weekend’s No. 2 movie, the Warner Bros. comedy Arthur. The PG-13 remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore film, about a spoiled playboy who must choose between his inheritance and the woman he loves, opened to a middling $12.6 million. CinemaScore audiences gave the $40 million movie a decent “B” rating. Right behind Arthur was Focus Features’ new thriller Hanna, which captured $12.3 million. The PG-13 movie, about a teenage girl (Saoirse Ronan) who’s trained to be an assassin by her father (Eric Bana), skewed surprisingly young – 64 percent of its audience was under the age of 35. Younger audiences also dug the $30 million film much more than their older counterparts. Hanna received an overall “C+” rating from CinemaScore moviegoers, but those under 18 gave it an “A,” while those 50 and up handed it a horrendous “D+” grade.
Fourth place went to the biopic Soul Surfer, which exceeded expectations with an $11.1 million opening. The sports drama, which cost $18 million, earned a rare “A+” rating from CinemaScore graders – the first movie to do so since last year’s Tangled. The PG movie stars AnnaSophia Robb as the real-life professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who returned to the sport after losing her left arm in a shark attack at age 13. Soul Surfer also features Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, and singer Carrie Underwood in her film debut. In fifth was the horror holdover Insidious, which bucked the genre’s tradition of steep second-weekend declines by falling only 27 percent for $9.7 million.
The frame’s fourth new release, the R-rated medieval comedy Your Highness, opened to a disappointing $9.5 million. Universal’s $50 million film, starring Danny McBride, James Franco, and Natalie Portman, was plagued by poor reviews and received a discouraging “C+” rating from CinemaScore audiences. Even more alarming was the fact that Your Highness dropped 9 percent from Friday to Saturday, while every other film in the top 10 enjoyed Friday-to-Saturday spikes. Check back next week for what could be a box-office bloodbath between the R-rated Scream 4 and the animated bird comedy Rio.
1. Hop – $21.7 mil
2. Arthur – $12.6 mil
3. Hanna – $12.3 mil
4. Soul Surfer – $11.1 mil
5. Insidious – $9.7 mil
6. Your Highness – $9.5 mil