From The Hollywood Reporter:
Good Friday is turning out to be excellent for the movie business, with Rio continuing to soar and new entry Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family off to a solid start.
The surprise is Water for Elephants — starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz — which is overperforming in early business at the domestic box office.
If matinee traffic is any indication, 20th Century Fox’s Rio should win the Easter weekend. The 3D toon has jumped the $200 million mark worldwide, a feat considering how sluggish the box office has been.
Rio is sustaining plenty of momentum in its second Friday, thanks to hordes of kids being out of school. Matinee levels were the same as a week ago — a great sign — but box office observers cautioned that Rio could fall off at night.
If Rio falls 30% from last weekend’s opening weekend gross of $39.2 million, it would put this weekend’s gross at roughly $27 million. Traffic will die off on Easter Sunday, but a decline of only 30% decline now seems within reach.
Madea is on track to finish the weekend at No. 2, with a gross in the low to mid $20 million range.
Heading into the weekend, Fox 2000’s Water for Elephants was projected to post an opening weekend gross of between $13 million to $15 million.
Water, based on the bestselling book by Sara Gruen, has been gaining momentum in recent days, particularly among younger females, and has every chance now of doing more business. The film’s strongest demo, according to tracking, is older women.
Universal’s Hop also was having a great Friday, thanks to so many kids being out of school for spring break and Easter weekend