Box Office: A Not So Happy Easter For Madea’s Big Family

The Reject ReportThe birds of Rio and the sugar-infused children were too much for the family crowd headed to see Madea’s latest outing this weekend. Madea’s Big Happy Family had anything but the worst opening for a Tyler Perry film, but it is the lowest opening film of his since 2007.

It’s also the lowest of the three in terms of Tyler Perry films with Madea’s name branded on the marquee. That’s not to say Madea’s Big Happy Family had a bad opening. You can’t really scoff at over $25 million, and it isn’t like Rio completely trounced the #2 film. The gap is wide enough that we won’t be analyzing Monday’s official numbers to determine a clear-cut winner, but it’s way too soon to start the Madea retirement rumors. Big Happy Family is sure to be viewed as a success for everyone involved especially Perry who is sure to have another Madea film in the works by, say…oh, what time is it?
The #1 film was Rio for the second weekend in a row, not too much of a surprise looking at past Easter weekends. How to Train Your Dragon was the #3 film at the box office over Easter weekend 2010, but it did it with $29 million in its second weekend. Granted, that was against another Tyler Perry movie, Why Did I Get Married Too?, an indicator the Tyler Perry brand may in fact becoming a bit stagnant.

But back to Rio. The 20th Century Fox film is already a monster success worldwide pulling in $283.8 million in foreign and domestic receipts. It’s quickly getting into Ice Age level success for the company, and a Rio 2 could be on the horizon.

The two new films not starring Tyler Perry in drag, Water for Elephants and Disneynature’s African Cats, performed about as expected. Robert Pattinson’s career outside of Twilight remains to skyrocket and Buena Vista seems to be making just enough money on their nature movies to make the next one. Much of the remaining box office did as expected, as well, with Scream 4 dropping pretty hard and Soul Surfer, Insidious, Hanna, and Source Code having pretty minor drops.

However, it was Hop, the movie pretty much made for Easter weekend, that actually surprised us. Its box office take rose over 16% from last weekend bringing its total domestic take to over $100 million. This makes Hop the third film in 2011 to do so joining in with Rango and Just Go With It. Happy day for Universal who will more than likely have Hop 2 It set up for release by Easter 2012.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Rio – $26.8m (-31.7%) $81.2m total
  2. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family – $25.7m NEW
  3. Water for Elephants – $17.5m NEW
  4. Hop – $12.4m (+16.3%) $100.5m total
  5. Scream 4 – $7.1m (-61.7%) $31.1m total
  6. African Cats – $6.4m NEW
  7. Soul Surfer – $5.6m (-23%) $28.6m total
  8. Insidious – $5.3m (-20.2%) $44.1m total
  9. Hanna – $5.2m (-27.5%) $31.7m total
  10. Source Code – $5m (-18.5%) $44.6m total

The Easter weekend take came in at $117 million down from Easter weekend last year but about on par with the holiday in general. Sometimes you just can’t contend with Sam Worthington, mythological creatures, and shoddy 3D.

A number of new releases drop next weekend as the pre-Summer season comes to a close. Greasing the wheels for the onslaught of mega-blockbuster entertainment will be Fast Five, Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil, Prom, and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. You’ve got to say the full title on some of these ludicrously named films.

We’ll be back on Thursday night to see how the weekend is shaping up.

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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