The Birds of Rio continued to defend their nest atop the box office over the weekend as their animated comedy edged out Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family , which had been favored to take over as the weekend's top film. As it was, only a little over a million dollars separated the two films. According to final figures Rio drew $26.3 million versus 25.1 million for Madea . Each film wound up with about a half million dollars less than the studio's Sunday estimates. Water for Elephants debuted in third place with $16.8 million; it was off more than $700,000 from Sundays estimates. Overall, the box office totaled $121.22 million, up 37 percent from the same weekend a year ago -- but The Rise could be attributed entirely to the fact that it was an Easter holiday weekend. Last year, Easter fell on April 4, and that weekend just the top three films, headed by Clash of the Titans, tallied $135 million.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. Rio , 20th Century Fox, $26,323,321, 2 Wks. ($80,806,562); 2. Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, Lionsgate, $25,068,677, (New); 3. Water for Elephants , 20th Century Fox, $16,842,353, (New); 4. Hop , Universal, $12,185,905, 4 Wks. ($100,224,905); 5. Scream 4 , Weinstein Co. $7,030,747, 2 Wks. ($31,035,010); 6. African Cats Kingdom of Courage, Disney/Disney Nature, $6,003,200, (New); 7. Soul Surfer, Sony/Tristar, $5,436,868, 3 Wks. ($28,502,151); 8. Hanna , Focus, $5,296,302, 3 Wks. ($31,740,162); 9. Insidious, Film District, $5,207,622, 4 Wks. ($44,001,416); 10. Source Code , Summit, $5,091,347, 4 Wks. ($44,692,591).

26/04/2011