By John Young
Updated April 02, 2011 at 07:00 PM EDT
Rhythm and Hues

Moviegoers finally embraced the world’s most under-appreciated superhero, the Easter Bunny, as Hop surpassed industry expectations and grossed $11.4 million on Friday, according to early estimates. Universal’s $63 million family comedy, about the Easter Bunny’s rebellious teenage son, is on pace for a $38 million opening weekend, which would give it the fifth best April debut ever. The PG movie was produced by Illumination Entertainment, whose first film, last summer’s Despicable Me, also exceeded expectations by earning $56.4 million its first weekend.

The $32 million sci-fi thriller Source Code took second place with $5 million on Friday. The well-reviewed PG-13 film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a soldier who repeatedly relives the last eight minutes of another man’s life in an attempt to prevent an imminent Chicago bombing, should finish the weekend with a sturdy, but not spectacular, $14 million. That result will trail the openings of other recent adult thrillers, such as Unknown ($21.9 million), The Adjustment Bureau ($21.2 million), and Limitless ($18.9 million). Still, it’s an encouraging start for a film that is, at its core, about quantum mechanics.

Third place went to the horror film Insidious, which also performed better than expected by collecting $4.8 million on Friday. The PG-13 movie, the first from the new distributor FilmDistrict, cost only $1 million to produce, and will finish the weekend with about $12 million. The Bradley Cooper thriller Limitless was in fourth with $3 million — a 35 percent drop from last Friday. And Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules fell 62 percent to round out the top five with $2.8 million. But if you’re looking for a really catastrophic decline, the fantasy action picture Sucker Punch plummeted 76 percent from last Friday, taking in only $1.9 million yesterday. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. Hop — $11.4 mil

2. Source Code — $5.0 mil

3. Insidious — $4.8 mil

4. Limitless — $3.0 mil

5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules — $2.8 mil

Box office preview: Hop to leap over the competition