The Hunger Games
It took four weeks for another film to dethrone 'The Avengers' from the top of the box office, but that dethroning occurred with a whimper, not a battle cry. 'Men in Black 3' arrived on the scene and proved that advance hype and high tracking are abstract concepts that don't always reflect reality. $55 million isn't an opening that'll have executives committing seppuku, but for a film that was expected to open to north of $80 million, it's a definitely a solid kick in the groin (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Like cockroaches lurking in the darkness waiting for their chance to attack the fruits of someone else's labor, writer/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer ('Date Movie,' 'Epic Movie,' 'Disaster Movie,' et al.) sit quietly, antennae twitching, primed for their attack. Their targets this time around: 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Avengers.'
We're only a couple months away from the shooting of 'Catching Fire,' Lionsgate's hot in pre-production follow-up to this spring's smash hit 'The Hunger Games' and it looks the film needs a new writer. Simon Beaufoy has been the credited writer for a while, and we know that Francis Lawrence is attached to direct, but it looks like they're bringing in 'Little Miss Sunshine' scribe Michael Arndt to polish the script.
Normally, the Weekend Box Office Report tends to shy away from covering the international box office. However, we're making an exception this week, mainly because the domestic box office was hopelessly anemic and 'The Avengers' opened everywhere not called the United States and took in an absolutely absurd amount of cash. Between 39 territories, Marvel's hotly anticipated Superhero Team-Up Extravaganza earned an astonishing $178.4 million, shattering opening records across the globe.
After a month of domination, 'The Hunger Games' has finally been displaced from the number one position on the box office top ten. Considering its theme of the little guy taking on the establishment and emerging victorious despite the odds, it's appropriate that it wasn't a major Hollywood blockbuster that snatched that spot. Show us someone who predicted that 'Think Like a Man' would win the weekend and we'll show you a certified box office predicting master. Or a liar. One of the two.
This week we've got the continuation of the Lionsgate 'Catching Fire' director search saga -- and spoiler alert, it doesn't have a happy ending. Disney decides that Hasbro shouldn't have all the fun adapting games, so they're adapting another ride. And Shia LaBeouf -- always reliable for a big dose of, "Um, what?" -- has decided he's a comic artist. We don't think he knows what that means.