Hannah Montana: The Movie's Happy Easter

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    Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana
    Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana Disney Enterprises, Inc.

    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:

    1. Hannah Montana: The Movie, $34 million
    2. Fast & Furious, $28.8 million
    3. Monsters vs. Aliens, $22.6 million
    4. Observe and Report, $11.1 million
    5. Knowing, $6.7 million
    6. I Love You, Man, $6.4 million
    7. The Haunting in Connecticut, $5.7 million
    8. Dragonball: Evolution, $4.7 million
    9. Adventureland, $3.4 million
    10. Duplicity, $3 million

    (Originally published April 12, 2009, at 9:58 a.m. PT)

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