Weekend Box Office: ‘Hunger Games’ Passes $300 Million in 17 Days

No surprise, folks, ‘The Hunger Games’ is still killing it. In fact, that was the only movie in the Top 3 this weekend to actually defy box office expectations. While predicted to close the weekend in second place with a 51% decline at $28.9 million, ‘The Hunger Games’ fell only 42.8% and drew another $33.5 million. That pushes it over the $300 million mark in its third weekend. Here’s hoping that Lionsgate hires a director for the second film who can match the quality of the first.

Neither of the two new nationwide openers was able to match their studio predictions. Universal Studios expected ‘American Reunion‘, the fourth movie in the ‘American Pie’ franchise, to come in first with $29.5 million. Instead, it finished in second place with only $21.5 million. That’s the franchise’s weakest opening since the 1999 original. Was that the fault of the fact that today’s younger audiences weren’t old enough to see R-rated movies when the last entry, ‘American Wedding’, came out nine years ago?

Paramount expected ‘Titanic 3D‘ to warrant a $21.9 million opening weekend, but it only drew $17.3 million. Analysts blame the three-hour runtime of the movie as the reason for that. Even though ‘Titanic’ got a three-day head start with a Wednesday opening, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the real Titanic’s sinking, it still finished $4 million under its five-day predictions. However, having grossed $25.7 million over the last five days, ‘Titanic 3D’ has already earned more than the $18 million it cost to convert the movie to 3D.

None of the limited openers listed in Friday’s Weekend Movies post have posted their earnings yet.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Hunger Games’ (Lionsgate) – $33,500,000

2. ‘American Reunion’ (Universal) – $21,500,000

3. ‘Titanic 3D’ (Paramount) – $17,350,000

4. ‘Wrath of the Titans’ (Warner Bros.) – $15,010,000

5. ‘Mirror Mirror’ (Relativity) – $11,000,000

6. ’21 Jump Street’ (Sony) – $10,200,000

7. ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ (Universal) – $5,000,000

8. ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ (CBS) – $975,000

9. ‘John Carter’ (Buena Vista) – $820,000

10. ‘Safe House’ (Universal) – $581,000


  1. Lahrs

    How can analysts say that the three hour run time is the reason Titanic did not hit its numbers when it is the same three hour run time that made it the second highest grossing film ever?

    • It’s either that or they have to admit that re-releasing every popular movie ever in 3-D isn’t, like, the best idea EVER! And Gump3D is just too damn exciting! PING PONG

  2. JM

    ‘Titanic 3’ cost $18M to make and more to advertise, it needs $100M+ to break even, which probably won’t happen until the 3D-priced blu-rays.

      • JM

        You think they released ‘Titanic 3D’ with a $0 marketing campaign?

        P&A, Mr. Z, Prints and Advertising.

        • $45 million is not the same number as $18 million.

          Rule of thumb is that the break-even point is 2.5 times the budget. If the budget is $18 million, the movie hits the black at $45 million.

          $100 million would be more than five times the budget.

          • JM

            $18M was the budget to convert it, but rerelease math is different because it’s a big marketing push for an already paid for film.

            Most marketing costs are $30M-$40M, and ‘Titanic 3D’ had a big push.

            The 2.5x rule of thumb is based on marketing costs of around .25x the budget, which is often the ballpark for new films.

            Since this is a rerelease, it’s more accurate to calculate it like this:

            (Budget + P&A) x 2 = Break Even.

            ($20M budget + $30M p&a) x 2 = $100M to break even.

          • JM

            Of box office grosses, studios get about half, theaters get half.

            But if you want to guesstimate more accurately it’s staggered.

            Week 1 – studios get 70%
            Week 2 – 60%
            Week 3 – 50%
            Week 4 – 40%
            Week 5 – 30%

            This is why they front-load the ads for the first two weekends.

            The kicker is, US box office is only 20% of a film’s total profit.

            For all the dirty secrets, read ‘The Big Picture’ by Edward Jay Epstein.

  3. Ben

    It’s at 60 million worldwide already, it’ll be plenty profitable. Nonetheless, this fad of re-releasing films needs to slow down considerably because it’s not proving to be anything more than a quick buck. The Lion King took advantage of being one of the first major re-releases in a while, and also because of the whole Disney vault thing, but Beauty, Star Wars, and Titanic have all disappointed despite being profitable in the long run. It doesn’t help that movies like Star Wars and Titanic are on TV all the time.

    But deep down, I’m still sort of hoping we get to Episode IV-VI in 3D (well, re-released more than anything)…I’ve never seen Empire Strikes Back in theaters.

  4. I do like seeing some of the re-releases. I did Star Wars just because Star Wars is cool on the big screen.

    Once you talley in both domestic and overseas markets, these rereleases are indeed profitable.

    As for Titanic, I got sick of the movie 15 years ago. The reason I am not going to see it isn’t because its in 3D or because I own it or that its always on tv, the reason I am not going to see it is because I cannot think of a more annoying movie (well, maybe Twilight).

    The movie will do just fine, international and domestic sales will more than pay for price of conversion and advertising, and I have a feeling this trend will continue. I would love to see something like Jurassic Park, Poltergeist, or Raiders of the Lost Ark get a QUALITY 3D conversion. Or what about Aliens and Terminator!

    • EM

      I’d rather see a 3D conversion of Them!, which was planned for 3D but ultimately not shot that way, though some scenes still suggest the planned tridimensionality.

  5. Kevin

    Oh… “Titanic 3D” didn’t do as well as expected? Gee… what a shock.

    Now how about getting the Blu-Ray out there?