Universal’s Fast Five, the fifth installment of the massively successful Fast and Furious franchise hit the streets with the biggest opening weekend of the year thus far. An $83.6 million haul gave the film pole position this weekend on the box office chart and was the biggest debut of the franchise. Fueled by $8.3 million worth of IMAX powered tickets, the giant screen format put the film over the top and accounted for 10% of the weekend sales. This latest Fast and Furious takes the classic formula and turns up the heat with a reunited cast and the addition of Dwayne The Rock Johnson and a spectacular heist-drive plot that sent audiences into a frenzy this weekend. Notably, this was the biggest opening weekend since Harry Potter 7 last November.
Check out our exclusive ‘Fast Five’-themed comic strip from Francesco Marciuliano. Francesco writes the internationally-syndicated comic strip “Sally Forth” and the webcomic “Medium Large.” He was the head writer for the PBS series “SeeMore’s Playhouse,” for which one of his episodes won two 2007 Daytime Emmys. He currently writes for the Onion News Network.
Fox’s Rio continues to draw audiences around the world and in the wake of a stunningly successful Easter haul, wound up in second place with $14.4 million in its 3rd weekend of release. The family-friendly film has continued to do solid mid-week business and has flown past the $100 million mark.
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family takes the third spot in its second weekend with $10.1 million. Perry’s box office track record speaks for itself with this, the latest of his Madea-themed films, earning $25.1 million in its Easter weekend debut. The film has earned $41.1 million in 10 days of release.
Fox’s Water for Elephants stars Twilight’s Robert Pattinson as circus veterinarian reminiscing about his life during the Great Depression. Strong word-of-mouth and a devoted female fan base is keeping the film in the box office hunt and gave it a 4th place finish this weekend with a gross of $9.1 million and a domestic total after 10 days of $32.3 million.
Disney’s PG-rated teen comedy Prom was a counter-programming alternative to the decidedly more intense Fast Five and took fifth with $5.0 million. Pre-teens and teens were drawn to the fun subject matter of the modestly budgeted film.
Another PG-rated film debuted in 6th as Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil in 3-D from Weinstein Co. earned $4.1 million this weekend.
As powered by Fast Five, the third consecutive up weekend (by over 50% vs. the same weekend last year) at the box office is giving us great momentum as we head toward the first weekend of the summer movie season. Fortunes have changed very quickly for Hollywood with a 20% revenue deficiency just a month ago giving way to a mere 14% deficit through this incredibly strong weekend.
Weekend Box-Office Estimates
Top Movies – For Weekend of April 29, 2011
Movie Weekend Gross Total to Date
1 Fast Five (PG-13) $83.6M $83.6M
2 Rio (G) $14.4M $103.6M
3 Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (PG-13) $10.1M $41.1M
4 Water for Elephants (PG-13) $9.1M $32.3M
5 Prom (PG) $5.0M $5.0M