Box Office: Russell Brand's 'Hop' leaps way over his new film, 'Arthur' [Updated]
Russell Brand was his own worst enemy at the box office this weekend, as his animated film "Hop" was No. 1 for the second consecutive week, beating out the actor's remake of the 1981 classic "Arthur."
"Hop," in which the comedian voices a computer-animated bunny, grossed $21.7 million, according to an estimate from distributor Universal Pictures, while none of four new movies that opened in wide release this weekend had a fantastic launch.
Brand's other picture, "Arthur," debuted to a soft $12.6 million and was nearly topped by the action film "Hanna," which collected $12.3 million. "Soul Surfer," about a teenage surfer whose arm is bitten off by a shark, got off to a good start with $11.1 million. The weekend's biggest disappointment was "Your Highness," a stoner comedy set in medieval times, which grossed only $9.5 million.
"Hop" continued to dominate the competition, dropping only 42% from last weekend. But "Arthur," which was produced by Warner Bros. for around $40 million, came in below industry expectations. Those who did show up to see the film about the booze-loving millionaire gave it an average grade of B, according to market research firm CinemaScore. To improve the film's financial prospects in the coming weeks, the studio is hoping to capture the interest of the under-18 crowd who indicated they enjoyed the film most this weekend, giving it an A-minus CinemaScore. Older moviegoers, who comprised 64% of the audience this weekend, did not like the film as much, perhaps because they were comparing it with the original version.
The earlier "Arthur," which earned lead actor Dudley Moore an Oscar nomination, was a sleeper hit 30 years ago, when it made $95.5 million domestically. Based on the new version's poor opening, it seems unlikely that the film will end up grossing anywhere close to that amount.
"Hanna," which stars Saoirse Ronan as a teenage girl raised in the wilderness who is trained to be an assassin, drew a younger audience, 64% of whom were younger than 35. The film played well to a diverse crowd in both big cities and small towns, but those who saw the film did not love it. Audiences gave the film an average grade of C-plus, indicating it could disappear from theaters quickly due to bad word-of-mouth.
But audiences seemed enamored with "Soul Surfer," giving it a rare A-plus. The movie, which is being distributed by Sony Pictures’ TriStar label and marketed by the studio's faith-based division Affirm Films and FilmDistrict, was made for $18 million. That means the film is off to a solid start, especially considering the teenage girls who propelled it to success are on spring break over the next few weeks.
This weekend's other comedy, the R-rated raunch fest "Your Highness," flopped. Universal Pictures spent around $50 million to produce the movie starring Danny McBride, James Franco and Natalie Portman. The film was aimed at young males -- and though they made up the majority of the film's audience, the movie still received a poor average grade of C-plus.
[Updated at 10:12 a.m.: "Insidious," the inexpensively made horror film that had a strong debut last weekend, only dropped 27% and collected $9.7 million.
"No Eres Tu, Soy Yo," the second release from Pantelion -- a joint venture between Lions Gate Entertainment and Mexican media giant Televisa to make pictures for Latino audiences -- grossed $600,000 in 226 theaters.
Here are the top 10 movies at the domestic box office, with foreign grosses where available, according to studio estimates and Hollywood.com:
2. "Arthur" (Warner Bros.): Opened to $12.6 million.
3. "Hanna" (Focus Features): Opened to $12.3 million.
4. "Soul Surfer" (Sony/FilmDistrict): Opened to $11.1 million.
5. "Insidious" (FilmDistrict): $9.7 million in its second weekend, down 27%. Domestic total: $27.1 million.
6. "Your Highness" (Universal): Opened to $9.5 million.
7. "Source Code" (Summit/Vendome): $9.1 million in its second weekend, down 39%. Domestic total: $28.6 million.
8. "Limitless" (Relativity): $5.7 million in its fourth weekend, down 39%. Domestic total: $64.4 million.
9. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" (20th Century Fox): $4.9 million in its third weekend, down 51%. Domestic total: $45.5 million.
10. "The Lincoln Lawyer" (Lionsgate/Lakeshore): $4.6 million in its fourth weekend, down 34%. Domestic total: $46.5 million.]
-- Amy Kaufman
Photos, from top: Russell Brand stars in a modern remake of "Arthur." Credit: Warner Bros. AnnaSophia Robb stars in "Soul Surfer." Credit: FilmDistrict