Smoking Fast and Furious's April opening record, Fast Five made off with a redline-busting $86.2 million at 3,644 locations over the weekend, beating its Sunday estimate by $2.6 million. The action sequel shot past Fast and Furious's $71 million start for a new franchise high, and it even saw smaller daily declines as the weekend progressed.
Fast Five more than doubled fellow Rio de Janeiro adventure, Rio ($39.2 million), to claim the biggest opening of 2011. It was also the second highest-grossing opening weekend outside of the summer and holiday seasons, behind Alice in Wonderland (2010)'s $116.1 million. If one counted Fast Five as the summer's start instead of Thor, as its marketing insisted, its gross would have ranked fifth among past summer kick-offs (Spider-Man 3 holds that record with $151.1 million).
With Fast Five, distributor Universal Pictures celebrated its biggest-grossing opening weekend ever, surpassing The Lost World: Jurassic Park's $72.1 million. However, adjusted for ticket price inflation, The Lost World is still Universal's champ at nearly $126 million, and Fast Five rates closer to The Bourne Ultimatum. Included in Fast Five's run were 244 IMAX venues, which contributed $8 million or nine percent of the gross. Universal's research showed that 56 percent of Fast Five's audience was male (about the same as Fast Four), 52 percent was under 25 years old (skewing older than Fast Four), 35 percent white (compared to Fast Four's 28 percent) and 33 percent Hispanic (down from Fast Four's 46 percent).
While Fast Five sizzled, the three other new nationwide releases fizzled. Prom went stag, grossing a soft $4.7 million at 2,730 locations. The ensemble teen comedy sold about as many tickets out of the gate as Sleepover (from the same director), BRATZ and I Love You Beth Cooper. A generic-brand movie about a nondescript "prom" wasn't a compelling offering. "Prom" is inert without a focused storyline, which meant a narrow audience for the movie: distributor Walt Disney Pictures' exit polling indicated that a whopping 66 percent of Prom's audience was under 18 years old, and 82 percent was female.
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil mustered just $4.1 million at 2,505 locations (77 percent of the gross was from 3D presentations at close to 1,900 locations). That was a fraction of the first Hoodwinked's $12.4 million start from over five years ago, and Hoodwinked Too! sunk lower than the likes of Mars Needs Moms and Drive Angry to claim the weakest debut yet for a broadly-released modern 3D movie.
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night was even worse, grossing a mere $754,779 at 875 locations. Horror comedies frequently flop, and Dylan Dog can take solace in not being quite as pathetic as Transylmania. On Sunday, its distributor, Freestyle Releasing was highly optimistic in its $875,000 estimate: they projected an increase on Sunday, so Dylan Dog wound up as the most overestimated movie of the weekend.
Most holdovers took a greater hit than they were accustomed to, in part due to Easter falling on last weekend. Ranking second, Rio dropped 44 percent to $14.8 million. With a $104 million total in 17 days, the animated comedy rose to third place on the 2011 chart, behind Rango ($119.9 million) and Hop ($105.4 million), and it will soon surpass those titles.
Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family fell 61 percent to $9.9 million for a $40.9 million tally in ten days. Its percentage drop was in line with Why Did I Get Married Too? and Madea Goes to Jail, but its grosses were much lower than those movies.
Water for Elephants retreated 45 percent to $9.3 million for a $32.5 million sum in ten days. Its percentage decline was almost as steep as Dear John and The Time Traveler's Wife, among comparable fare. Draining faster than Oceans, African Cats was declawed in its second weekend, off 60 percent to $2.4 million for a $10.7 million tally in ten days.
Given its subject, Hop was the most susceptible to post-Easter disinterest, and it plummeted 78 percent from its Easter bump to $2.7 million and ninth place.