Monday, April 11, 2011

'Hop' still tops at box office, 'Arthur' staggers

Moviegoers would rather hear Russell Brand than see him.

The hasty English comic claimed the top two spots at the North American box office -- as the voice in the live-action/animated family film "Hop," which led the field for a second weekend, and as the star of the "Arthur" remake, which opened poorly at No. 2, according to studio approximate issued on Sunday.

"Hop" earned USD 21.7 million during the three days beginning Friday, taking its 10-day total to $68.2 million. The Easter-themed family picture was produced by Illumination Entertainment, the animation firm behind last year's hit "Appalling Me."

"Arthur," in whom Brand takes over the title role created by Dudley Moore 30 years ago, earned just USD 12.6 million during its first three days.

The film's distributor, Warner Bros., said it had hoped for an opening in the mid-teen millions. The film cost in the mid-USD 60 million ranges to make.

Three other films enter theaters on Friday. "Hanna," an action movie starring 16-year-old Saoirse Ronan as an killer, was No. 3 with USD 12.3 million; "Soul Surfer," the true-life story of a young girl who lost her arm to a shark, followed with USD 11.1 million; and "Your Highness," a medieval comedy starring newly minted Oscar winner Natalie Portman, bombed at No. 6 with just $9.5 million.

"Hop" and "Your Highness" were released by Universal Pictures, and "Hanna" by Focus Features. Both are units of NBC Universal, which is forbidden by Comcast Corp.

Warner Bros. is a unit of Time Warner Inc.

"Soul Surfer" was released by TriStar Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp.


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