"Rio" still No. 1 at world box office

Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:47pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Rio" led the Easter box office in North America for a second weekend, and remained the top choice internationally for a third round as the worldwide haul for the Brazilian bird cartoon flew toward $300 million.

According to studio estimates issued on Sunday, "Rio" sold an estimated $26.8 million worth of tickets across the United States and Canada during the three days beginning April 22. After 10 days, the film has earned $81.3 million.

It also earned $44.2 million from 67 foreign markets, taking its overseas total to $204.7 million. The worldwide total stands at $286 million.

"Rio," which cost about $90 million to make, revolves around Blu, a rare blue macaw (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg), who returns home to Brazil after a coddled existence as a smuggled pet in the United States. It was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp.

"Madea's Big Happy Family," the latest outing from prolific actor/writer/director Tyler Perry, opened at No. 2 in North America with $25.8 million.

The debut was in line with expectations but fell short of Perry's previous comedies about the brassy black woman. "Madea Goes to Jail" opened to $41 million in 2009, and "Madea's Family Reunion" to $30 million in 2006.

WOMEN RUSH TO NEW FILMS

As usual, the Lionsgate release played almost exclusively to older black women and was a major event in such cities as Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Lionsgate is a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

Fox's "Water for Elephants," a romantic drama starring Reese Witherspoon and "Twilight" hunk Robert Pattinson, came in at No. 3 with $17.5 million, also in line with expectations. Similarly, its appeal was to female fans of the underlying best-selling book by Sara Gruen.   Continued...