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Box office update: Russell Brand's 'Hop' fends off Russell Brand's 'Arthur' on Friday

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Audiences apparently prefer their Russell Brand in rabbit form. The family comedy Hop, featuring the voice of Brand as the Easter Bunny’s rebellious son, held off four new arrivals, including the romantic comedy Arthur, starring Brand as an immature millionaire. The PG-rated Hop, which won last weekend with a larger-than-expected $37.5 million, topped the box office once again with an estimated $5.5 million on Friday. Universal’s $63 million hybrid of live-action and animation should finish the weekend with about $20 million, bringing its two-week cumulative tally to $66.5 million.

In second with $4.5 million was Warner Bros.’ Arthur, a remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore comedy about a rambunctious playboy who’d inherit a fortune if he married the woman he doesn’t love (Jennifer Garner) instead of the woman he does (Greta Gerwig). Helen Mirren co-stars as Brand’s loyal nanny. The poorly reviewed PG-13 comedy cost $40 million to produce, and is on pace for a somewhat disappointing $13 million opening weekend. Chasing after Arthur was Hanna, which collected $4.1 million. Focus Features’ PG-13 thriller, directed by Atonement‘s Joe Wright, stars Saoirse Ronan as a teenage girl trained by her ex-CIA agent of a father (Eric Bana) to be an unstoppable assassin. Hanna scored the strongest reviews among new releases, and should close out the weekend with around $12 million.

Fourth and fifth place went to Your Highness and Soul Surfer, which earned $3.8 million and $3.7 million, respectively. Universal’s Your Highness, a medieval action stoner comedy (four words you don’t often see combined) featuring Danny McBride, James Franco, and Natalie Portman, was slapped with atrocious reviews. Made for $50 million, the R-rated film will likely finish the frame in fifth place with $10 million. Soul Surfer, on the other hand, should move up to fourth with a weekend catch of $11 million. In the PG biopic, AnnaSophia Robb plays surfing champion Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack at the age of 13. The inspirational drama, which was marketed to Christian audiences by the young studio FilmDistrict (and distributed by Sony’s TriStar Pictures), received mediocre notices from critics. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. Hop — $5.5 mil

2. Arthur — $4.5 mil

3. Hanna — $4.1 mil

4. Your Highness — $3.8 mil

5. Soul Surfer — $3.7 mil

Box office preview: Arthur takes on Hop in the battle of the Brands

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