Rango tops box office with $38 million

Western animation film Rango took the top seat at the box office last weekend taking in $38.1 million.

Rango lassoed $38.1 million on approximately 5,200 screens at 3,917 locations, which surpassed The Green Hornet’s $33.5 million as the top-grossing opening so far in 2011. Though it grossed less than a third of Johnny Depp’s Alice in Wonderland, Rango exceeded Depp’s previous voice-only role, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride ($19.1 million). Rango’s estimated attendance was a tad higher than How to Train Your Dragon’s at the same point, but its gross was lower than that picture’s 3D-enhanced $43.7 million. To a more modest degree, director Gore Verbinski and Depp may have done for animated Westerns what they did for pirate movies with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Bolstered by a paucity of family fare, Rango stood out with its distinctive look and sensibility, and the Depp branding helped make its quirks a selling point. The marketing campaign was aggressive, including a spot during the Super Bowl. Distributor Paramount Pictures’ initial exit polling indicated that the audience composition was 54 percent female and 54 percent aged 25 years and older.