Rio beats Scream at US box office
Movie fans in the US are going to Rio in big numbers, but they're not quite screaming over the latest instalment of a horror-comedy franchise.
The 20th Century Fox animated family flick Rio, featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, led the weekend box office with a healthy 40 million dollar debut, according to studio estimates.
It was the best debut so far this year, topping another animated comedy, Rango, by about two million dollars.
The slasher comedy Scream 4, released by the Weinstein Co banner Dimension Films, opened at number two with just 19.3 million dollars. That's a fraction of the business for the previous two sequels, which both debuted at over 30 million more than a decade ago.
After two weekends in the number one spot, Russell Brand's Easter bunny tale Hop slipped to third-place with 11.2 million dollars. Released by Universal, Hop raised its total to 82.6 million.
The weekend's other new wider release, director Robert Redford's Lincoln-assassination drama The Conspirator, premiered at number nine with 3.9 million dollars. The movie stars Robin Wright and James McAvoy in a courtroom tale of a woman accused of aiding Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth.
Rio opened well above Fox studio expectations. A tale of romance and smuggling involving rare birds, the animated adventure opened overseas a week earlier and has climbed to a 168 million dollar total worldwide.
"It's working in every country on the planet," said Fox distribution executive Bert Livingston. "It's G-rated, which means it's for everybody."
Receipts for Scream 4 came in a bit under industry expectations. "Would we have liked to have done more? Yeah, absolutely, but I don't think anyone was expecting 30 million dollars," said Erik Lomis, head of distribution for the Weinstein Co.