As expected last week, Tim Hill’s latest exploration into mixing live-action and animation this week earned Hop the very top of the box office and an estimated $38 million. Now, although that isn’t too short from the $44 million opening weekend for Alvin and the Chipmunks, the disadvantage is word-of-mouth. Just a few words of reactions tend to include, but are not limited to: uninspired, hollow, charmless, disaster, disposable, forgettable, and disorienting. Even brain death. All this noted from only Rottentomatoes. This reminds us of Garfield: A Tail of two Kitties, which was of course a colossal domestic failure (and waste of time). The film barely managed a total of $28 million and continues to refuse to admit its production budget. Children may enjoy the antics, but ultimately it seems as if Hill is absolutely determined to torture adults and at that, anyone who can understand the plots of his very, very undesirable films. No amount of stunning animation or talent in the cast was able to save a terrible script in Hop. Generally, stars have been rather drawn to animated films, and in this case Russell Brand as the Easter Bunny seemed as great an idea as Hank Azaria as an evil chick. Unfortunately, it was Brand that was miscast, as he is taken out of his element of comedy that people have come to relish in and expect. It appears that Brand was unable to adapt. It must have helped that the pace of Hop is comfortable to children, and emphasized the fantasy of animation existing in reality.

A fresh story and both audience and critically acclaimed film The Source Code unfortunately takes second place. Duncan Jones is quickly becoming established as a renowned filmmaker, his last feature Moon not amassing too much money while generating a well-written and performed science fiction picture that gave hope to many fans of the genre again and even featured the voice of Kevin Spacey from American Beauty. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, the film may be rejected by those who have since abandoned following the actor after rejecting the graphic nature of his work in Brokeback Mountain. Still, Love and Other Drugs managed to make three times its production budget of $30 million worldwide, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was equally rescued by foreign numbers into making $135 million in profit. Michelle Monoghan is also a familiar face, most likely from Eagle Eye since although Due Date made its money on star power it is generally referenced negatively. So, with a decent cast and an up-and-coming filmmaker, The Source Code should endure a lot better than Hop, which is quickly losing popularity. The far superior in quality to Hop, it simply cannot compete with the vast numbers of children who have quickly forgotten all about Rango and need a substitute. Hop would not be nearly as successful without the upcoming holiday fueling its publicity and strategic choice of opening weekend.

As the advertisements remind us, James Wan is still most well-known for his directing the original Saw film, which aside from a bit of gore could be considered more of a thriller. Wan had nothing to do with the inferior sequels which ruined a standalone film that could have sustained a great deal more respect if simply left alone. Although Death Sentence, the follow-up to Wan’s directorial debut was a financial failure and indeed cared very little for plausibility, on a budget of only $1.2 million Saw grossed $103 million worldwide, an incredible accomplishment in independent filmmaking. However, even more-so spectacular, is Paranormal Activity, which with the stated $15,000 managed to accumulate just over $193 million dollars and likewise pushed the boundaries of independent filmmaking. When the director-writer team of Saw and the producer of Paranormal Activity team up, it seems we get Insidious, similarly made on a $1 million budget and ultimately manages only third place in the top box office—it’s a letdown, considering all of the noted accomplishments.

As expected the insignificant and poorly done Diary of a Wimpy Kid sequel has sunk in the top box office, and Limitless continued its average descent. Although the latter was pushed along by a surprisingly high placement for Insidious. Since Hanna seems derivative and has employed very little marketing tactic, it should be kept down by Natalie Portman’s latest endeavor Your Highness, which explores her comedic quality (hopefully reminiscent of her famous SNL rap). Comedic opponent Arthur won’t have a chance after Brand fails in Hop, especially since Portman’s spotlight had only just begun to fade by now after her success at the Oscars with Black Swan.

1   Hop (2011) $38.1M $38.1M
2   Source Code (2011) $15.1M $15.1M
3   Insidious (2010/I) $13.5M $13.5M
4   Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011) $10.2M $38.4M
5   Limitless (2011) $9.4M $55.6M
6   The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) $7.05M $39.6M
7   Sucker Punch (2011) $6.08M $29.9M
8   Rango (2011) $4.56M $114M
9   Paul (2011) $4.33M $31.9M
10   Battle: Los Angeles (2011) $3.5M $78.5M