Entertainment & Arts

Rio still flying high at North American box office

Image caption Rio tells the tale of a stolen macaw

Animated film Rio has beaten Tyler Perry's new film and a circus romance starring Robert Pattinson to stay top of the North American box office.

Rio, featuring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway, took $26.8m (£16.2m) on it second weekend, according to studio estimates.

Perry film Madea's Big Happy Family, was at two with $25.8m (£15.6m).

Water for Elephants, starring Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, opened in third with $17.5m (£10.6m).

In the film, Pattinson stars as a vet who joins a travelling circus and falls in love with its star performer.

Madea's Big Happy Family - in which Perry stars as a a grandmother who pulls her clan together in a crisis - narrowly failed to knock Rio, a film about a stolen macaw, off the top spot.

Prolific Perry, who last month won prizes including best director at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Image Awards, also wrote and directed the film.

Other new releases to appear in the US and Canada box office top 10 include Disney nature documentary African Cats, which opened at number six with $6.4m (£3.9m).

Overall, box office revenue - which totalled $138m (£83.5m) - was up on last year for a second weekend running.

Next weekend, takings are also expected to be up on last year when the latest action movie in the Fast and the Furious franchise, Fast Five, is released.

"I think we're going to have three up weekends in a row, and for us, that's a roll," said Paul Dergarabedian, of box office tracker Hollywood.com.

"We've been down for so long - it really points out how cyclical this business is."

Before last weekend, box office takings had been in general decline since the autumn.

Super Size Me documentary maker Morgan Spurlock's latest offering, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, failed to make the top 10.

The product-placement documentary took $135,139 (£81,700) in its opening weekend.

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