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'Scream 4' gutted by 'Rio' at box office. Why didn't you see the slasher sequel?

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Emma Roberts Scream 4
Gemma La Mana

Going to an afternoon screening of Scream 4 was a perfectly lovely way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon in New York. (As lovely as it can be watching handfuls of teenagers get their throats slashed.) I was, however, surprised to see quite a few empty seats at my local theater, which is typically so crowded, seats are packed weeks after a film’s release. (Even two months after Black Swan premiered in theaters, I had to wait in line for an hour in order to grab a seat.) Did theater-goers not realize that Scream 4 was a much-anticipated sequel? With built-in Courteney Cox-David Arquette tabloid fodder? And a healthy dose of ’90s nostalgia (which, if we’ve learned anything from NKOTBSB, is back in vogue)?

Apparently, springtime had moviegoers craving chirping birds over homicidal maniacs. Rio flew to the top of the box office, nabbing $40 million its first weekend (the best opening of 2011). Scream 4, however, captured only $19.3 million. That’s a number more disappointing than Scream 3. Could middling reviews be responsible? Or Scream fatigue? Or was there simply something better to see? Let us know, PopWatchers: Why didn’t you see Scream 4?

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWardEW

Read more:

‘Scream 4’: What plot twists didn’t make it to the final film?

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‘Scream 4′ writer Kevin Williamson discusses his ‘massive fight’ with Bob Weinstein

Gallery: ‘Scream 4′ premiere