DreamWorks Animation's The Croods took first place with an estimated $11.6 million from 4,046 locations on opening day. That's a bit better than Rio ($10.34 million), but slightly below How to Train Your Dragon ($12.1 million). For the three-day weekend, it's likely that The Croods winds up above $40 million, which is a good start ahead of the Easter/Passover holidays.
In second place, Olympus Has Fallen debuted to an estimated $10.4 million from 3,098 locations (its per-theater average was actually better than The Croods). That's a very strong start for the first of two White House invasion movies this year (the second, White House Down, opens in June). It's the top opening day for an R-rated action movie so far this year ahead of A Good Day to Die Hard ($8.2 million), and is more than double the debut of director Antoine Fuqua's March 2007 movie Shooter ($4.78 million). Distributor FilmDistrict is currently expecting around $28 million for the weekend.
Facing tough competition from The Croods, Oz The Great and Powerful tumbled 50 percent to an estimated $5.65 million. Through 15 days, Oz is by-far the highest-grossing movie of 2013 with $161.2 million.
After an unexpectedly strong start last weekend, The Call plummeted 57 percent to an estimated $2.68 million in its second Friday. To date, the Halle Berry thriller has earned $24.9 million, and should be past $30 million by the end of the weekend.
Spring Breakers rounded out the Top Five with an estimated $2.1 million from 1,104 locations. Its per-theater average of $1,902 is higher than that of The Master ($1,773) and Moonrise Kingdom ($1,623) when they moved in to nationwide release last year. The Harmony Korine drama will earn at least $5.5 million this weekend, which is an impressive start for a movie that's relied almost exclusively on publicity and word-of-mouth.
In sixth place, Admission failed with $2.06 million. That's the worst start ever for Tina Fey, and is also lower than past Paul Rudd disappointments How Do You Know ($2.57 million), Our Idiot Brother ($2.39 million) and Wanderlust ($2.17 million). For the weekend, Admission will end up with around $6 million.
Finally, after its awful start last week, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone appears to be in the midst of a disappearing act this weekend. The magician comedy fell 64 percent to an estimated $1.33 million, and to date has earned a meager $14.4 million.
Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.
• Forecast: 'Croods' Woos Families, 'Spring Breakers' Expands Nationwide
• Grosses for Friday, March 22, 2013