GossipCop: 'Water for Elephants' Opens Big. Comes in 3rd.

PhotobucketGossipCop Rio holds off strong performances by Tyler Perry and Robert Pattinson to win the Easter Weekend box office. The animated bird tale earned $26.5 million for the top spot, followed by Madea’s Big Happy Family, which was a close second with $26.1 million.

Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon’s Water For Elephants came in third with $17.6 million.

Easter bunny film Hop took fourth place with $12 million, while Scream 4 came in a distant fifth with $7.1 million. Rounding out the Top Ten were African Cats ($6.1 million), Soul Surfer ($5.5 million), Insidious ($5.2 million), Hanna ($5 million), and Source Code ($4.8 million).

This was released April 24th 4:15 a.m. I'm pretty sure GC will update BO results later in the day to include Easter Sunday's figure.

Deadline Reports on the Easter Weekend Numbers via  RPLife

1. Rio 3D (Blue Sky Studio/Fox) Week 2 [3,842 Theaters]
Friday $10.7M, Saturday $9.7M, Easter Weekend $26.5M (-32%), Cume $80.9M

2. Madea's Big Happy Family (Tyler Perry/Lionsgate) NEW [2,288 Theaters]
Friday $10.5M, Saturday $9.2M, Easter Weekend $26M

3. Water For Elephants (Fox 2000/Fox) NEW [2,817 Theaters]
Friday $7M, Saturday $6.8M, Easter Weekend $17.5M

Analysis via The Hollywood Reporter

Overperforming in its opening was Fox 2000’s period circus romance Water for Elephants, which debuted to $17.5 million from 2,817 locations. Based on Sara Gruen’s bestselling book and directed by Francis Lawrence, the film stars Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz.

Water for Elephants drew an A- CinemaScore, and played heavily to adult women. Females made up 70% of the audience, while 70% were over the age of 25. The film’s successful opening is a win for Fox’s marketing team, which targeted fans of the book, as well as playing up the love story.