Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Hunger Games’ Crushes ‘Wrath of the Titans’
Would it be lazy to open this edition of the Weekend Box Office Report with some kind of joke about the wily huntress Katniss Everdeen besting the mighty demigod Perseus in a battle to the death? Possibly. Probably. Still, the numbers don't lie: 'The Hunger Games' made $61 million dollars over the weekend, bringing its two week total to just over $250 million. That sophomore week gross is almost identical to what 'Clash of the Titans' debuted to back in 2010, making 'Wrath of the Titans'' $34 million opening look all the more embarrassing.
1. The Hunger Games: $61,100,000 ($251,033,000)
2. Wrath of the Titans: $34,200,000 ($34,200,000)
3. Mirror Mirror: $19,000,000 ($19,000,000)
4. 21 Jump Street: $15,000,000 ($93,100,000)
5. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax: $8,000,000 ($189,600,000)
6. John Carter: $2,005,000 ($66,210,000)
7. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: $1,274,000 ($3,171,000)
8. Act of Valor: $1,006,00 ($67,750,000)
9. A Thousand Words: $915,000 ($16,520,000)
10. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island: $835,000 ($98,480,000)
'The Hunger Games' has soared past 'Dr. Seuss' The Lorax' to become the highest grossing film of 2012 so far and a final haul of $350 million looks inevitable. The big question now is whether or not it can break into the mighty 400 Club, but anything past this point is just additional icing on a cake stuffed with cold, delicious, comforting, sequel-financing cash. With one of the most jam-packed summers in years right around the corner, 'The Hunger Games' has some serious competition in when it comes to final box office bragging rights, but a smash hit is a smash hit.
The weak opening of 'Wrath of the Titans' feels inevitable. The original film may have earned a half a billion dollars worldwide, but it didn't earn too many fans. That $34 million opening is roughly half of what the first film did its opening weekend, which is...well, it's not good. Those are franchise killing numbers, folks. If you were hoping to see the adventures of Perseus beyond this film, do yourself a favor and don't hold your breath. Unless those international numbers work a miracle, this will be a two film series.
'Mirror Mirror' overcame a toxic marketing campaign to open to a respectable $19 million. It wasn't a cheap film and Relativity definitely wanted that number to be about $10 million higher, but they should consider this a minor victory. Family films tend to have longer legs than adult-oriented projects, so there's always a chance that 'Mirror Mirror' will turn into a sleeper hit. Speaking of long legged family movies, 'Dr. Seuss' The Lorax' continued to hold strong and steady, adding another $8 million to its take. $200 million is a sure thing at this point and with April looking pretty barren for kids fare (save for 'The Pirates! Band of Misfits' on the 27th), it may very well keep packing the theaters.
With an additional $15 million in the bank, '21 Jump Street' is within spitting distance of $100 million and shows no signs of stopping. $150 million is a very real possibility. Someone crack open a bottle of bubbly, please.
With a top five so strong, it's almost disheartening to look at slots six through ten. 'John Carter' continued to limp along like a wounded animal, adding $2 million to its gross for a total of $66 million. It may do $75 million if Disney gets lucky, but right now, it's only in the top ten because there is a space to be filled and it's currently available. The same goes for 'Act of Valor' and 'A Thousand Words,' both of which made about a million bucks apiece and should vanish without a trace in the next week or so. With a bottom five so weak, 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' managed to snatch the number seven spot, marking the first and last time a movie called 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' will be in any kind of top ten.
'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' continued to desperately cling to that number ten spot like The Rock clinging to an oversized bumblebee. It's less than $2 million away from that coveted $100 million and if it doesn't reach it at this point...well, nothing will happen, really, but, you know, bragging rights.
There were some impressive numbers outside of the top ten this week, namely from a few films excelling in limited release. In 46 theaters, the critically praised Indonesian action film 'The Raid: Redemption' took in $284,000 from 46 screens, bringing its total gross to $596,000. Meanwhile, it looks like the controversy surrounding the MPAA rating of 'Bully' seriously paid off, with the film grossing $115,000 from only five locations (that's $23,000 per screen).
Next week only brings two major releases: 'American Reunion,' the latest in the never-dying, ever-shambling 'American Pie' series and the re-release of James Cameron's 'Titanic' in 3D. Would it be lazy to end this edition of the Weekend Box Office Report with some kind of joke about how it feels like we've traveled back in time to the late '90s?