3 Reasons 'Rio' Won Over Kids at the Box Office

Twentieth Century Fox

The Twentieth Century Fox toon raked in an estimated $40 million this past weekend.

Twentieth Century Fox’s Rio outperformed expectations in its domestic launch this past weekend, grossing $39.2 million. With recent big kid movie duds (Disney's Mars Needs Moms), what set this toon apart?

1. It’s fun and colorful.
Critics widely praised the animated movie, which featured the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg. “Exotic eye candy and infectious beats make for a fun animated frolic,” THR’s Megan Lehmann wrote in her review. It received a 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which predicted “Rio will almost certainly delight kiddies with its vivid colors, high energy, and good humor.” It also received an A CinemaScore domestically.
2. Great timing.
A large swath of kids are not only out of school for spring break in the U.S. -- but also in Europe. That could explain why Rio earned an estimated $53.9 million in its second weekend overseas (it’s foreign cume:  $129.1 million). “We got everybody. It’s working in every country on the planet,” Fox senior vice president of distribution Bert Livingston said. The film also benefits from being on screen during the Apr. 24 Easter holiday (if animated movies open close to Easter, they tend to amass huge grosses quickly).
3. No major competition.
Pure animated films do better than CGI/live-action hybrids like Hop. Rio’s box office numbers will likely stay strong, as the movie won’t have any major competition until late May, when Kung Fu Panda 2 opens.