Hannah Montana Speeds Into the Lead

The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The Easter weekend has always been somewhat of an anomaly because the busiest movie day is on Good Friday when school is off. Miley Cyrus’ third feature film and first live action non-concert movie, Hannah Montana The Movie, took full advantage of it with an astounding opening day of over $17 million, just below the current Easter record holder Scary Movie 4. After a sharp drop on Saturday, it settled for an estimated $34 million in 3,118 theaters, an average of roughly $11,000 per site, making it the second-biggest Easter opener and the fifth-largest April opener. It opened with just $3 million more than her “Best of Both Worlds” 3D concert movie opened with last year in almost a fifth as many theaters.

Dropping to second place, Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious dropped 59% over Easter weekend while becoming the fifth movie of the year to cross the $100 million mark. (This time last year, only one movie had made that amount, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.) It has grossed $118 million total domestically and will cross $200 million worldwide today, putting it in line to cross the worldwide gross of the sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious by sometime next week. Over the weekend, Universal also signed the deal to have Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return for a fifth movie in the franchise.

DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters vs. Aliens also took advantage of the Easter weekend, dropping a mere 31% for a third weekend of $22.6 million, bringing its total to $141 million and putting it in line to become the highest-grossing movie of 2009 sometime next week.

Opening in fourth place, Jody Hill’s dark comedy Observe and Report (Warner Bros.) starring Seth Rogen, brought in an estimated $11.1 million in 2,727 theaters, possibly hindered by the dark material and following so closely behind Kevin James’ blockbuster hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop (currently the #1 grossing movie of the year so far).

The next three slots were filled by Alex Proyas’ sci-fi thriller Knowing (Summit) with $6.7 million, the R-rated buddy comedy I Love You, Man with $6.4 million and Lionsgate’s haunted house thriller The Haunting in Connecticut with $5.7 million. They’ve grossed $68 million, $59 million and $46 million, respectively.

20th Century Fox’s live action anime Dragonball: Evolution bombed with $4.6 million in 2,181 theatres, opening in eighth place with a disappointing $2,100 per-site average.

The top 10 grossed an estimated $126 million, up over 61% from the same weekend last year, where Screen Gem’s horror remake Prom Night reigned with $20.8 million, although that also wasn’t Easter weekend.

Derick Martini’s star-studded festival favorite Lymelife (Screen Media) opened in four theaters in New York and L.A where it grossed $29,000 over the holiday weekend.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.

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