FROM MTV MOVIES: Hollywood accountants got just what they needed from two little bluebirds over the weekend as "Rio" enjoyed the biggest debut of any movie in 2011 thus far. The latest animated outing from the company behind the "Ice Age" franchise, about a pair of endangered South American birds, beat the weekend openings of rival kid flicks "Rango" and "Hop" with its estimated $40 million weekend.
Featuring the voice talents of Jessie Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, George Lopez, will.i.am and more, "Rio" did 58 percent of its business in 3-D screenings, which helped lift the overall box office 11 percent, marking the first increase against 2010 numbers in eight weekends. The "Rio" debut is still far behind the opening of last spring's "How to Train Your Dragon" and previous Blue Sky Studios hits like the "Ice Age" series, "Robots" and "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!"
Meanwhile, the first "Scream" movie in 11 years fell well below expectations with its $19.2 million opening. "Scream 4" was #2 in the box office tally, according to studio estimates. Uniting returning castmembers Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox with a cast of younger newcomers wasn't enough to beat the debuts of either of the other sequels to the 1996 original.