Box Office Battle: Scream 4 vs. Rio

After more than 10 years away from theaters, the Scream franchise returned in the form of Scream 4, reuniting stars Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette with director Wes Craven and a new lineup of young pretty things to be splattered, gutted and witticismed to a spot six feet underground.

Box office winner, right?

But wait! In the other corner we have Rio, a pretty G-rated animated flick about a bird in Brazil who doesn’t know how to fly.

If movie releases have taught me anything, it’s to never underestimate animated family flicks.

Sadly, Scream 4 will not lead the weekend as Rio earned an estimated $10.2 million on Friday, April 15, 2011. It will likely earn $30 million over the course of the weekend.

More disturbing is that the pre-anticipation buzz for Scream 4 appears to have been misleading, as the picture took in only $8 million on Friday. Box office analysts were predicting anywhere from $30 to $45 million for the weekend, but it will only make around $20 million – considerably less than the openings for Scream 2 and Scream 3 ($32.9 and $34.7 million respectively).

I expected Scream 4 to play out more like an event film, especially given the adequate reviews, but instead its opening indicates most people didn’t care to see a third sequel to a franchise made popular last century.

Robert Redford’s The Conspirator opened to $1.1 million on 700 screens.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Animated Movies, Box Office, Horror Movies
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