LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co’s “Hannah Montana: The Movie” doubled forecasts by earning $34 million worth of tickets at the Easter weekend box office in North America, as young fans of teen starlet Miley Cyrus rushed to see their heroine’s first big-screen outing.
The movie ranks as the second-best Easter opening, following 2006′s “Scary Movie 4″ with $40 million.
“Omgomg! my fans rock! the movie is doing great you guys!” Cyrus, 16, said in a Twitter message, using the “omg” acronym as shorthand for “Oh my God.”
Disney had hoped “Hannah Montana” would perform in the same range as 2003′s “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” another big-screen vehicle for a Disney Channel star, in that case Hilary Duff. “Lizzie” opened to $17.3 million in 2003, and ended its domestic run with $42.7 million.
As in her hit TV series, Cyrus plays a regular schoolgirl by day and a pop star by night. But her father (real-life dad Billy Ray Cyrus) decides she needs to get back to her small-town roots, so takes her on a surprise trip to her old Tennessee home where love and other complications ensue.
Last weekend’s champion “Fast & Furious” slipped to No. 2 with $28.8 million, taking the 10-day total for Universal Pictures’ race-car thriller to $118.0 million. The studio is a unit of General Electric Co’s NBC Universal.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc’s “Monsters vs. Aliens” was down one at No. 3 with $22.6 million in its third weekend; its total rose to $141 million.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Doina Chiacu)