Pixars Brave

Rio leads the box office with $40 million opening weekend!

Moviegoers flocked to Rio but fled from Scream 4 over the weekend. Thanks to Rio and some decent holdovers, though, this was the first genuinely up weekend year-over-year since early November, boasting a nearly 11 percent increase over 2010, when Kick-Ass and How to Train Your Dragon led.

Rio led with an estimated $40 million on approximately 6,400 screens at 3,826 locations, and its 3D presentations at 2,591 locations accounted for 58 percent of the gross. The animated comedy edged out Rango's $38.1 million and Hop's $37.5 million to claim the highest-grossing opening weekend of 2011 so far. However, excelling in a slow year like 2011 is not the same as excelling in the grand scheme of things: Rio's start was fairly average for a wannabe animated event. It trailed How to Train Your Dragon's $43.7 million opening from last spring, and its attendance paled compared to Blue Sky's previous spring movies Ice Age, Robots and Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!. Distributor 20th Century Fox's exit polling indicated that 53 percent of Rio's audience was female and 50 percent was under 25 years old.

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