It's certainly not often that one actor stars in the top two films at the box office (researchers are probably scrambling to see whether such a finish has ever occurred before), but Russell Brand nabbed that honor this weekend. He provided the voice for the animated bunny in Universal's Hop , which earned an estimated $21.7 million, and starred in the Dudley Moore role in the remake of Arthur , which made about $12.6 million . Neither result could be considered impressive, although Hop fell only 42 percent from last weekend. But Arthur --and just about every other film in the top ten -- performed, well, blandly. Exceptions were Focus Features' Hanna , a low-budget thriller that got off to a fine start with around $12.3 million, and the faith-based Soul Surfer from Sony, which debuted with $11.1 million. Everything else ended up with single digits, including the Natalie Portman/James Franco flick Your Highness , which tanked with $9.5 million. Not counting the Presidents Day holiday, which fell on a different weekend this year than last, the box office has been down every week this year compared with a year ago. This weekend was no exception. Overseas, however, the animated Rio , which does not open domestically until next Friday (timed to coincide with spring vacations in many areas), opened in 72 countries to the tune of $55 million. 3D theaters accounted for 71 percent of the gross.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. Hop , $21.7 million; 2. Arthur , $12.6 million; 3. Hanna , $12.3 million; 4. Soul Surfer, $11.1 million; 5. Insidious , $9.7 million; 6. Your Highness , $9.5 million; 7. Source Code , $9.1 million; 8. Limitless , $5.7 million; 9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules , $4.9 million; 10. The Lincoln Lawyer , $4.6 million.