'Rio' could rise above 'Scream 4'
Following last weekend's strong international performance, the animated
Rio could reach the top spot at the North American box office this weekend and stay in front for the Easter holiday with kids on spring break.
This family adventure filmed in 3D might not repeat the global gross of $55 million, but it is expected to soar over last week's winner, Hop, which earned $37 million on opening.
With the return of Wes Craven's Scream franchise posing a formidable rival for first place, some predictions claim the horror story could reap as much as $45 million.
Rio features a star voice cast including Jesse Eisenberg ( The Social Network) and Anne Hathaway ( Alice in Wonderland), Jane Lynch ( Glee), Jamie Foxx ( Ray) and the Black Eyes Peas' Will.i.am.
Scream 4 brings the return of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, and stars a fresh group of starlets including Gossip Girl's Kristen Bell, True Blood's Anna Paquin, and Heroes' Hayden Panettiere.
Historically Easter is a popular time for children's films, such as last year's How To Train a Dragon, which collected $43.7 million when it opened. Rio is also created by the producers of the two Ice Age films, which made $41.6 and $68 million on opening.
By comparison, Scream 2 took $32.9 million and Scream 3 grabbed $34.7 million when they debuted. It has been 11 years since the last one, but horror fans loyal to the franchise as well as a new generation indicate the latest installment is highly anticipated.
Scream 4 has 318,000 Facebook fans and 18,000 new ones this week. This social media buzz could indicate a lead over Rio, except that the hit Angry Birds Rio smartphone game by Rovio is a marketing tool that probably appeals more to kids.
Confirming the tight race, Fandango, the online ticket sales outlet, reports that Rio and Scream 4 are tied with 16% of the daily sales. The films are set to boost the weak box office and lead into a robust summer schedule.
Scream 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5TsZ6iyaH4
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