Why ‘Wimpy Kid’ Sequel Beat ‘Sucker Punch’ at the Box Office

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2011
20th Century Fox

Greg (Zachary Gordon, center) meets up with pals Rowley (Robert Capron, left), Fregley (Grayson Russell) and Chirag (Karan Brar).

Bad reviews and a "more narrow" audience may have cost Warner Bros. the top spot.

Going into weekend, Fox 2000's sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Warner Bros.' Sucker Punch seemed to be in a close race for the top box office spot. 

How did Rodrick Rules manage to one-up Punch?
Simply put: Rodrick Rules (which earned a cool $24.4 Million) reinforces the success that family films can enjoy, even while the rest of the box office suffers.
The sequel, costing $20 million to produce, enjoyed a mammoth 39% uptick on Saturday thanks to family traffic, with nearly 60% of the audience under the age of 18. The movie earned an A-CinemaScore, although younger kids gave it an A.
"Our main audience loved it," Fox senior vice president of distribution Bert Livingston said.
Punch, about a rough-and-tumble group of girls trying to escape from an asylum, had two problems:  Poor reviews and a B- CinemaScore, although Warners exec vice president of distribution Jeff Goldstein pointed out that younger moviegoers gave the movie an A-.
The film also wasn’t as broad as other movies made by director Zack Snyder (300).
Sucker Punch's audience "was more narrow," Goldstein said. But Snyder's upcoming  Superman: Man of Steel will appeal to a broader crowd, predicted Goldstein, and "the support for Snyder will be colossal."
As for the success of Rodrick Rules - about a middle school boy and his brother - it almost guarantees that Fox 2000 will make a third movie.