The big box office story this week: Blue Sky’s Rio opened in 72 countries with an estimated total of $55 million. Its strongest territory was Russia (no surprise) where it earned $11.3 million, the strongest opening in that country since last November’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It also grossed $8.4 million in Brazil making it the country’s top opening ever for an American film. More details on Box Office Mojo:

Rio didn’t fly very high outside of Russia and Latin America. Europe, in particular, greeted the lively birds with only lukewarm figures; Germany led the way with $2.6 million, while the United Kingdom and Spain added $2.5 million and $2.2 million, respectively. The movie earned $3.5 million in China, which was twice as much as Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, but was still not spectacular given the size of the market. Rio also tallied $2.4 million in Australia.

The opening, said Fox International co-presidents Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus, is “a fantastic start for a new franchise.” In other words, Fox is already planning for sequels, even though the film won’t open in the US until next week.

At the US box office, Illumination Entertainment’s Hop remained in first place for the second weekend in a row. The film grossed a relatively modest $21.3M (final) pushing its two week total to $67.8M. Rango landed in 11th place with $2.3M and a six-week total of $117.5M, while Paul finished in 13th place with $1.7M for a four-week total of $35.1M.

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