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Feature Film

“Rio” Rocks US Box Office


In its second weekend, Carlos Saldanha’s Rio dropped a slim 32% to retain the top spot at the US box office. Its estimated $26.8 million weekend pushed the US gross to $81.3M. More impressive, its worldwide total stands at $283.9M, pushing it ahead of Rango‘s $235.1M worldwide take as the top grossing movie of 2011. The other animated film in the US top ten was llumination’s Hop which benefited from a 16% Easter Weekend boost to place fourth. Its estimated weekend take of $12.5M pushed its domestic total to $100.5M.

For those keeping track, this is the fourth straight week that an animated movie has topped the US box office. Through the first four months of 2011, four of the top seven films at the worldwide box office have been animated. Even more noteworthy, only one of those films was released by Disney or DreamWorks. In a year when fewer people in the US are attending the movies than any year since 1995, animation is coming into its own and dominating Hollywood as never before. With any luck, these successes will encourage greater experimentation and diversity within the medium.

  • I keep hearing the same thing from people regarding Rio. Namely that “it looked really stupid in the previews, but is actually pretty good.”

    Makes sense that it’d have some legs. Go Blue Sky!

  • It’s always good to hear how well animation is doing around world, and that it’s increasing in popularity. I hope it continues like this for a long, long time.

  • Toonio

    Seems like the animation studios are not willing to step on each other toes on the release time lines.

    Conspiracy theorists of the animated underworld, I summon you!

    • Ethan

      No conspiracy here, it’s always been how release schedules work, they book the release date to avoid each other when the target audience is the same (live action films too). It would be crazy to put a film out at the same time as another one competing for the exact same audience, unless there’s no other choice, or the time frame is too lucrative to give up.

  • Chris

    Does it strike anyone else that the male character looks just like Charlie Jones, Coraline’s father? Even down to the green shirt. The female character looks like every female character from the last 10 years.

    Sorry for being bitter and jaded, but someone had to say it. Anyway, glad to hear Rio is enjoyable and doing well. Despite being a curmudgeon about the character designs I hope to see it soon.

    • You are right… but the main and feathered characters are the ones that matter!

      • Chris

        So true. I would like to modify my previous statement to “…the [human] character designs…”

        From the posting,
        “With any luck, these successes will encourage greater experimentation and diversity within the medium.”

        YES, exactly! I really really hope so.

    • 2011 Adult

      If you see him in a lab coat, he looks like Flint Lockwood.

    • Mike Russo

      Ummm…was there a reason a photo of the human characters was picked to represent a BIRD movie?

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I’m so glad that Rio is doing great box office business.
    I’ve just seen it a second time and enjoyed it as much as I did the first time.

  • Good post! More than just numbers, a focused editorial with a message.
    Oh! And hurray for Carlos- Rio is amazing!

  • Some Girl

    Very encouraging!
    This post lifted my spirits and makes me want to draw some more!

  • Hollywood … experimenting???? Well I suppose anything can happen though I expect it will be more along the lines of “Ice Age Infinity”

  • Blind Lemon Fudge III

    The SAG voice actors are the only ones that will see any lasting compensation from such repeated box office windfalls.

  • Funkybat

    Not to take anything away from the animated features of late, but I think part of the reason they dominate the box office more than in the past is because sooo much of what “live-action Hollywood” is putting out is either mediocre or sheer garbage.

    I know it’s a perennial complaint, especially from cinephiles & wannabe critics, but I can say that for myself and pretty much everyone I know, there has been very little that’s even mildly interesting in theaters for several months. I’m the kind of person who actually ponies up their cash to go see films in the theater, even though I know they will be on Blu-Ray within 3-6 months. I like the cinema experience. But even I have probably gone to the movies all of 3 times so far this year, when I used to go at least 2-3 times a month, sometimes for repeat viewings. I think the last movie I did that with was Megamind.

    I look at the box office charts, and the “coming soon” lists, and see very little that’s interesting, let alone worth getting excited about. And the few “guilty pleasure” movies I had considered going to see (such as “Sucker Punch”) had such bad word-of-mouth amongst my friends that I just skipped them altogether.

    I’m hoping that animation, 3D, 2D, any-D, continues to thrive more than mainstream Hollywood product, but I think it says more about how bad most movies are more than it says how wonderful the animated ones are themselves.

  • “…was there a reason a photo of the human characters was picked to represent a BIRD movie?”

    If there wasn’t, there could be. I went to Rio with modest expectations and it surpassed them precisely because of the human characters. The rest of the animation was quite good, but the bar is pretty high these days. But outside of Pixar, human characters have been pretty blah. The character designs were boring, but the animated acting was spot on. A simple moment where Tulio (male human lead) tentatively reaches his hand out to touch the shoulder of Linda (female human lead) was timed and animated perfectly.

  • Compn

    i made a promise to myself to not watch another talking animal movie. also that i wont watch anything with a dick and or fart joke in the trailer.

    its been a while since i saw a movie in the theater :(