Even in its third weekend in theaters, "The Hunger Games" continued its box office rampage, as the Lionsgate release topped the box office and became one of the fastest movies ever to $300 million domestically. "American Reunion" and "Titanic 3D" also hit theaters, though they struggled to meet expectations and ended up with so-so openings of $21 million and $17 million, respectively.
Though the hype was very high when "The Hunger Games" first reached theaters a few weekends ago, the action-thriller has been nothing short of a phenomenon. After posting one of the biggest openings of all-time, it hasn't slowed down since and is now up to a prodigious $302 million domestically after just 17 days in theaters. Only a handful of giant releases like "The Dark Knight," "Avatar" and the final "Harry Potter" have ever hit the $300 million mark faster, and "The Hunger Games" isn't showing any signs of slowing down.
The success of "The Hunger Games" hasn't been limited to the U.S. either, as it has now racked up another $157 million in foreign revenue, pushing it to $459 million overall. After dipping just 43% from last weekend, "The Hunger Games" is also entering a lull in the release schedule that should allow it to continue its box office dominance in the weeks to come. Look for "The Hunger Games" to maintain its strong pace and potentially land as the number one box office draw for the fourth weekend in a row.
While "The Hunger Games" continued to scoop up mainstream, action-seeking audiences, enough adults turned to "American Reunion" to at least get it off the ground, though overall numbers pointed to the worst opening in the series. "American Reunion" ended up with a so-so $21 million at 3,192 total theaters, showing that there isn't nearly as much fanfare as there was earlier in the series. Even the mostly panned "American Wedding" still hauled in $33 million in its opening weekend back in 2003 and shot past $100 million domestically, a total that "American Reunion" isn't likely to come near.
The first three releases in the series also did very well overseas, which is a trend that could at least help "American Reunion" finish with a nice worldwide total when all is said and done. Like "The Hunger Games," "American Reunion" will also benefit from a light release schedule over the next couple of weekends, though that might not be enough to make it more than a moderate hit by the time it's out of theaters.
Also looking to recapture some former box office glory this weekend was "Titanic 3D," James Cameron's Oscar-winning smash hit that was the biggest box office hit of the 1990s. "Titanic 3D" didn't have quite the crowds that distributor Paramount had hoped, but it did post a decent $17.35 million at 2,674 sites over the weekend. Add in its numbers from Wednesday and Thursday and "Titanic 3D" is now up to a solid $25 million domestically, a strong total considering it cost just $18 million for the 3D conversion. Like the original, "Titanic 3D" should do very well outside of the U.S. as well over the next month.
As "The Hunger Games" and the new releases mostly hit their target demographics this weekend, action-thrillers "Wrath of the Titans" and "John Carter" both dropped more than 55% from their previous weekend totals. "Wrath" now sports a very disappointing $58 million 10-day total, down more than $50 million from where predecessor "Clash of the Titans" was at the same point. Meanwhile, "John Carter" landed on the top ten for the fifth time, though it still only has $67 million domestically and is seeing drastic decreases in overall screenings.
After a record-setting March, the box office looks like it will hit a bit of a slow period as we move toward the start of the summer release schedule. Next weekend, sci-fi thriller "Lockout" will hit theaters starring Guy Pearce and horror-comedy "The Cabin in the Woods" gets its wide release, with Chris Hemsworth and Richard Jenkins atop the cast. Also getting launched will be PG "The Three Stooges," though expectations are fairly limited for the Fox release.
Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 4/6/12 - 4/8/12 (In Millions), [RTT Prediction]:
1. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate): $33.50 [$29]
2. American Reunion (Universal): $21.50 [$28]
3. Titanic 3D (Paramount): $17.35 [$24]
4. Wrath of the Titans (Warner Brothers): $15.01 [$15]
5. Mirror Mirror (Relativity): $11 [$9.5]
6. 21 Jump Street (Sony/Columbia): $10.20 [$8]
7. The Lorax (Universal): $5 [$4.8]
8. Salmon Fishing in Yemen (CBS): $0.98 [$0.6]
9. John Carter (Disney): $0.82 [$1.1]
10. Safe House (Universal): $0.58 [N/A]
by RTT Staff Writer
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