In this weekend's Russell Brand vs. Russell Brand showdown, the real Russell Brand lost. The cartoon Brand in 'Hop' ruled the box office for the second straight weekend, while the live-action Brand's 'Arthur' debuted in a distant second place.
In its second weekend, 'Hop' dropped 42 percent to an estimated $21.7 million. That was a little steeper than expected, given the absence of other animated family fare in theaters. Still, it was enough for the Easter-themed movie to jump to a 10-day total of $68.2 million, putting it well on the way to crossing the $100 million mark.
'Arthur' debuted at No. 2 with an estimated $12.6 million, well below expectations that the comedy would earn between $15 and $18 million. The premise, about a lovable drunken billionaire, didn't resonate well in our recessionary, abstemious times. Younger viewers may not have remembered the 1981 original with Dudley Moore, and moviegoers who did may have been put off by weak reviews. Since the movie featured Brand doing the shtick he's best known for, its stumble out of the gate casts doubts over whether he can carry a movie -- when he's not playing a rabbit, at least.