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Whisper Numbers: Four new films won't bounce Hop.

Four new releases enter the box office fray as two comedians test their draw and two girls fight adversity. However, none is likely to unseat Hop [IHOP] from the top spot. The family film featuring Russell Brand [RBRAN] as the voice of an animated Easter Bunny exceeded all expectations last weekend. With little competition, Hop might hold around 65% and still remain in first place at about $24 million.

Brand also stars in one of the new openers, Warner Bros’ comedy remake Arthur [ATHUR]. The British comedian seems to elicit either a love him or hate him response from people. Although Get Him to the Greek opened to $17.6 million last year, it was a spin-off that was led by Jonah Hill. A PG-13 rating should give Arthur access to a broader audience than its competition. Though even with the inclusion of Helen Mirren [HMIRR], the film is unlikely to bring out older moviegoers who've seen the 1981 original. Opening in 3267 theaters, Arthur could bank $16 million.

Danny McBride [DMCBR] also strikes out as a lead in the fantasy comedy Your Highness [YURHI]. James Franco [JAFRA] and Natalie Portman [NPORT] led their starpower in support. Buzz has been low and reviews mostly negative for the R-rated comedy targeted at the college crowd. Your Highness may loot $14 million from 2769 locations.

The inspirational drama Soul Surfer [SOSRF] is the true story of Bethany Hamilton who lost an arm to a shark. While AnnaSophia Robb [AROBB] plays the lead, co-star Carrie Underwood may be the bigger draw for teen girls as well as the country crowd. Sony and FilmDistrict also hope to tap into the Christian community, which would give the PG-rated film a boost. Riding into 2214 theaters, Soul Surfer could score $10 million.

The thriller Hanna [HANA1] stars Saoirse Ronan [SRONA] as a young girl seemingly born to be an assassin. Eric Bana [EBANA] and Cate Blanchett [CBLAN] give the PG-13 rated action film some highbrow talent to an otherwise lowbrow movie concept. Teenage moviegoers will have many other options, though excellent reviews should help attract discerning adults. Debuting in 2535 theaters, Hanna might have $9.5 million within its sight.

With word of mouth only so-so, Source Code [SCODE] may decline 45% in its second weekend to $8 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.


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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, April 7, 2011 @ 04:04 PM 3704 views

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