Fox's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules debuted in first place this weekend with $23.75 million. The sequel to last year's Diary of a Wimpy Kid had been expected by some to open in a close second, but the film topped Warner's Sucker Punch fairly easily. Making the victory even sweater for Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was that it was produced for only a fraction of the cost of Sucker Punch. The situation was fairly similar to last year when the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid unexpectedly opened larger than The Bounty Hunter. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules opened 7 percent stronger than the $22.13 million start of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. With a three-day to Friday ratio of 3.26 to 1, Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules also held up better initially than its predecessor did (which registered a three-day to Friday ratio of 3.00). However, at least some of that can be attributed to the first film opening the Friday of primary Spring Break week.
Sucker Punch debuted in second with $19.06 million. The Zack Snyder directed fantasy action film opened towards the lower end of its wide-ranging expectations. Sucker Punch appealed largely to moviegoers under 35 (74 percent) and skewed fairly heavily towards male moviegoers (64 percent). On Friday it also appeared quite likely that Sucker Punch was playing significantly stronger on the two coasts. The film opened very similarly to last year's Kick-Ass, which debuted with $19.83 million. However, Sucker Punch was more front-loaded than Kick-Ass was on its opening weekend. After opening with $8.03 million on Friday, Sucker Punch was only able to generate an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.37 to 1 (even with the added advantage of its PG-13 rating). While Sucker Punch wasn't based on a pre-existing property, it certainty behaved that way this weekend. That is obviously a poor sign for the film's holding power going forward.
Internationally, Sucker Punch opened with a modest $6.5 million from 23 foreign territories. However, the film has yet to open in many of the larger international markets (where it will roll out over the next few weeks). Key debuts this weekend included $0.7 million in Italy, $0.7 million in Spain, $0.5 million in Brazil and $0.5 million in Mexico.
After a better than expected start last weekend, Relativity's Limitless held up exceptionally well this weekend. The modestly budgeted thriller starring Bradley Cooper grossed $15.06 million, as it was down a slim 20 percent from last weekend. As was also the case with Lionsgate's The Lincoln Lawyer this weekend, Limitless clearly benefited from strong word of mouth. Both films also appear to have been helped greatly this weekend by serving as alternatives to Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Sucker Punch, especially for older moviegoers. Limitless has grossed an impressive $41.11 million in ten days, placing it 12 percent behind the pace of 2008's 21.
The Lincoln Lawyer claimed fourth place with $10.75 million. The Matthew McConaughey vehicle was down a very healthy 29 percent from last weekend. With a ten-day gross of $28.72 million, The Lincoln Lawyer is also exceeding pre-release expectations. The Lincoln Lawyer is currently running 4 percent behind the pace of 2009's Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. With so little of April's release schedule aimed at older moviegoers, The Lincoln Lawyer has an excellent chance of continued strong holds going forward.
Paramount's Rango rounded out the weekend's top five with $9.77 million. In the process the computer animated film reached the $100 million milestone this weekend (on Saturday), making it the first domestic release of 2011 to do so. Also reaching the $100 million milestone this weekend (on Sunday) was Sony's Just Go With It. Current respective totals stand at $106.34 million for Rango and at $100.25 million for Just Go with It.
A couple of sci-fi themed films were locked in a close battle for sixth and seventh place this weekend. Universal's sci-fi comedy Paul ultimately pulled ahead with $7.86 million, while Sony's sci-fi action film Battle: Los Angeles followed with $7.58 million. Paul experienced a solid hold in its second weekend, as it was down 40 percent from last weekend, but Battle: Los Angeles continued to drop off quickly as it fell 48 percent. Paul has grossed $24.96 million through ten days, while Battle: Los Angeles has grossed $72.56 million in 17 days.