Trend-alert update: Tween girls—still powerful; Hannah Montana—still potent; Miley Cyrus—her world, welcome to it.
Cyrus' Hannah Montana: The Movie scored an estimated $34 million at the weekend box office, blowing past Fast & Furious and blowing away projections.
"What she pulled off here, based on tracking, is amazing," Disney distribution president Chuck Viane said today. "It's a tribute to her and her fan base."
Drilling down into the numbers:
• A regular, old 2-D comedy, Hannah Montana: The Movie took in more in its Friday-Sunday debut than last year's Hannah Montana concert movie—or February's Jonas Brothers concert movie—did at 3-D prices.
• Expected to hit the upper $20 millions—tops, Hannah Montana ended up as the second-biggest Easter weekend opener of all time, behind 2006's Scary Movie 4 ($40.2 million).
• Disney's own modest expectations for Hannah Montana were not influenced by what its Jonas Brothers movie did—or didn't—do. "This is so different," Viane said. "This is a live-action movie versus a concert…It's a different world."
• If you were a girl, you were 8 and it was Friday, chances are you were in line at the multiplex. Hannah Montana's opening-day gross of $17.3 million was the biggest ever for a G-rated film.
• Though the consensus pick to finish No. 1, second-place Fast & Furious didn't so much underperform as Hannah Montana overperformed. The car movie held OK, collecting another $28.8 million and bringing its two-weekend haul to a hefty $118 million.
• Monsters vs. Aliens ($22.6 million) held really well, with ticket sales down only 31 percent from last weekend. At $141 million overall, it's closing in on the esteemable Paul Blart: Mall Cop as the year's top-grossing movie.
• Seth Rogen's mojo led the black comedy Observe and Report to a decent $11.1 million debut. The take improved on the opening-weekend performance of Rogen's last out-of-mainstream comedy, Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
• The manga-based Dragonball: Evolution ($4.7 million) did not feature Cyrus or Rogen. As its eighth-place debut attested.
• Race to Witch Mountain ($2 million) exited the Top 10 after four weekends and a $62.1 million run.
• Sunshine Cleaning ($1.8 million) moved into nearly 600 theaters, but slipped out of the Top 10. The indie comedy stands at $7.2 million overall.
• Vin Diesel, Miley Cyrus and Monsters vs. Aliens have Hollywood rolling again. Ticket revenue is now running 13.4 percent ahead of last year. Attendance is up nearly 12 percent.
Here's a complete look at the weekend's top-grossing films based on Friday-Sunday estimates as compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
(Originally published April 12, 2009, at 9:58 a.m. PT)