Weekend Box Office Report: All Films Bow Before ‘The Hunger Games’
For the third week in a row, the odds remained firmly in the favor of ‘The Hunger Games,’ which stayed number one at the box office and made crossing the coveted $300 million mark look as easy as snapping a child’s neck in a man-made arena for an audience of millions. If watching the box office is to movie fans what performance stats are to sports fans, we can safely call ‘The Hunger Games’ a star athlete. With little blockbuster competition standing in its way until ‘The Avengers‘ hits on May 4, $400 million is looking more and more likely.
The only chief competition for ‘The Hunger Games’ this weekend were two old pros, both of them coming back to the box office arena for the first time in a decade or more. Fifteen years ago, ‘Titanic‘ went out on top, with a then record breaking $600 million gross and bunches of Oscars. It’s return to cinemas in 3D feels like a champion returning to the ring for a final ceremonial victory lap. Opening on Wednesday, ‘Titanic 3D‘ made $25 million over five days, a respectable if not earth-shattering number. Honestly, re-releasing this movie was not a particularly expensive proposition for anyone, so anything past this point is pretty much just free money.
The other veteran in the game this weekend was ‘American Reunion,’ the fourth film in the ‘American Pie’ series (or seventh, if you count the years the franchise spent slumming it in direct-to-DVD hell). That $21.5 million opening is higher than that of the first film in 1999, less than half of what the sequel opened to in 2001 and about $10 million less than ‘American Wedding’ in 2003. This is not a disastrous number, but it’s definitive proof that this franchise is running on fumes. It will quietly break even (expect numbers around $70-$80 million unless something goes horribly wrong) before vanishing into the night.
1. The Hunger Games: $33,500,000 ($302,839,000)
2. American Reunion: $21,500,000 ($21,500,000)
3. Titanic 3D: $17,350,000 ($25,710,000)
4. Wrath of the Titans: $15,010,000 ($58,899,000)
5. Mirror Mirror: $11,000,000 ($36,473,000)
6. 21 Jump Street: $10,200,000 ($109,577,000)
7. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax: $5,000,000 ($198,200,000)
8. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: $975,000 ($4,639,000)
9. John Carter: $820,000 ($67,973,000)
10. Safe House: $581,000 ($124,751,000)
Elsewhere on the top ten, ‘Wrath of the Titans‘ continued to struggle, taking in $15 million for a total gross of just under $60 million. In most cases, this would look like a flop of epic proportions (and technically, it is), but it will soon out-gross ‘John Carter,’ which has only managed to scrape up $67 million in five weeks (it only made $820,000 this weekend). ‘John Carter’ cost $100 million more than ‘Wrath of the Titans’ and will end up grossing significantly less: the former remains a disaster while the latter is just a headache.
As for the rest of the top 10…Eh.
‘21 Jump Street‘ stayed strong and should continue to play well over the next few weeks before ending its run with a tidy $130-$150 million or so. ‘Mirror Mirror‘ didn’t flail too badly in its second week, but those numbers are halfway decent at best. Its chances of breaking even in theaters are looking pretty slim (but that’s why they invented DVD sales). ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ took a hit because ‘Titanic’ stole a lot of its 3D screens, but the film is literally this close to the $200 million mark and will cross that mark next week, so everyone’s pretty happy. Consider that recently announced animated ‘Cat in the Hat’ film on the fast track.
Somehow, ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ is still in the top 10. You can blame the slow weekend, but you’ve got to admire any film with that title managing to crack the list. Its $4.6 million gross isn’t exactly impressive, but it’s definitely more than you’d expect a film called ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ to make.
On the outside, there’s ‘The Raid: Redemption,’ which sat in spot number eleven with $565,000 (for a total gross of $1,288,000). Thanks to word of mouth and a slowly expanding theater count, the spectacular Indonesian martial arts film has been quickly rising through the top twenty. Does it have a shot of cracking the top 10 next week? Maaaybe. This Friday sees three new releases that may, by their mere presence, force a significant shift in the make-up of the top 10.