B.O. Roundup: April 29 - May 1, 'Fast Five' Breaks April Record

Sunday, 01 May 2011 10:30 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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B.O. Roundup: April 29 - May 1, 'Fast Five' Breaks April Record

The marketing for Fast Five assured moviegoers that this year's summer movie season would begin in April, and based on its estimated gross, that assurance proved apt.  Not only did the fifth entry in Universal's improbably enduring franchise typify the summer movie style of over-the-top action, but its estimated weekend gross of $83.6 million broke the record for an opening weekend in April.  The previous record holder was, not coincidentally, 2009's Fast & Furious, which debuted with $71 million.

Fast Five more than doubled the opening weekend of Rio, this year's biggest opener up until now.  It also topped the last FF installment as the biggest weekend the franchise has ever had, and it set a studio record for Universal.  Previously, Universal's record holder was The Lost World: Jurassic Park, though if its 1997 opening were adjusted for inflation, it would still top Fast Five.

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker's big weekend guarantees that we'll see more vehicular mayhem with the planned sixth FF film, and probably a spin off series for Dwayne Johnson, as well.

This weekend's other new releases did not fare quite so well.  Disney's ensemble romantic comedy Prom underwhelmed with a projected $5 million in fifth place, with Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil right behind it in sixth with an estimated 4.1 million.  In limited release, the supernatural comic book adaptation Dylan Dog: Dead of Night opened to $885,000, putting it in sixteenth place.

Holdovers also didn't make a huge impression.  Rio, last week's number one film, and the biggest success of the lackluster year until now, fell to second with an estimated $14.4 million.  With $103.6 million in its coffers, Rio became the fourth film this year to gross over $100 million, joining Rango, Just Go With It, and Hop.  Speaking of Hop, the Easter-themed family film took a tumble after last week's holiday spike, dropping to ninth place with $2.5 million.

Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family fell to third, losing 60% of its audience from its debut weekend and earning an estimated $10 million.  That brings it's ten day total to $41 million.  Water for Elephants retained 55% of its audience in its second week, hauling in $9.1 million at fourth place.

Soul Surfer managed to hold to the same spot it occupied last weekend, earning a projected $3.3 million in seventh place.  The film has consistently held a surprising amount of its audience week to week, allowing it to gross an impressive $33.7 million and stay in the top ten over a month.  Similarly, the minutely-budgeted horror film Insidious, from Saw masterminds James Wan and Leigh Whannell, has proven hugely profitable, adding another $2.8 million to its $48.3 million five-week total.

Rounding out the top ten this weekend, the sci fi thriller Source Code lost about half of its audience from last weekend, earning an estimated $2.5 million for a total gross of just about $49 million over five weeks.

1. Fast Five                                                     $83.6 million             New Release

2. Rio                                                              $14.4 million             $103.6 million

3. Madea's Big Happy Family                           $10.0 million             $41 million

4. Water for Elephants                                   $9.1 million               $32.2 million

5. Prom                                                           $5.0 million               New Release

6. Hoodwinked Too!                                        $4.1 million               New Release   

7. Soul Surfer                                                  $3.3 million               $33.7 million

8. Insidious                                                     $2.8 million               $48.3 million

9. Hop                                                             $2.55 million              $105.2 million

10. Source Code                                              $2.53 million              $48.9 million 

While Fast Five got an early start to summer this weekend, next week sees the cinematic debut of Marvel's Asgardian heavy-hitter Thor.

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