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Hop, Illumination Entertainment’s second animated feature following last year’s Despicable Me, debuted in first place in North America with $37.5 million last weekend, making it the second strongest domestic opening of 2011. The solid US debut for the live-action/CG combo was tempered by the film’s tepid foreign premiere where it grossed under $7 million from 2,362 locations in 26 markets. Universal, which distributed the film, offered a perfectly rational reason for the poor overseas performance, blaming it on the “first warm and sunny weekend of the year.”

ILM’s Rango scored $4.5 million in its fifth frame for a total of $113.7 million in the US. Extraterrestrial live-action/CG combo Paul followed behind with $4.2 million and a three-week total of $31.8 million.

Some other US and worldwide tallies for recent animated pics:
Tangled ($199.1M, $576M worldwide)
Yogi Bear ($100.2M, $200.4M worldwide)
Gnomeo and Juliet ($96.9M, $167.1M worldwide)
Mars Needs Moms ($20.4M, $34.4M worldwide)
The Illusionist ($2.2M, $5.5M worldwide)
My Dog Tulip ($232,975)