Weekend Box Office: ‘Hunger Games’ Filmmakers Will Never Starve Again

With only one major opener this weekend, there was no doubt as to which film would walk away in the #1 spot. Even so, I don’t think anyone expected it to pull in the numbers that it did.

All hail ‘The Hunger Games‘ and its $155 million opening weekend! Bow before it for out-grossing studio expectations by $20 million, for having the highest grossing midnight opening ($19.74 million) for a non-sequel, for debuting better than any of the ‘Twilight’ movies, and for becoming Lionsgate’s highest grossing film after just two days. With strong filmmaking and a story that appeals to both males and females of all ages, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should.

Last week’s winner ‘21 Jump Street‘ slid down to the #2 spot, dropping only 41% in attendance with a $21.3 million second weekend. Its ten-day total is now $71 million, which is much higher than anyone expected this comedy to perform. ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax‘ dropped to third place with another $13.1 million. Its grand total now rests at $177.3 million.

The $250 million-budgeted ‘John Carter‘ has officially become a major fiasco with a 17-day total of only $62.3 million. If I had to guess, this weekend must be the nail in the coffin for the would-be franchise. After five weeks, fifth place ‘Act of Valor‘ has out-grossed Disney’s non-blockbuster with $65.9 million. Ouch.

Something titled ‘October Baby‘ opened in the #8 spot with $1.7 million on just 390 screens. Made by and starring a slew of no-names, this drama about an abortion survivor sounds like a downer. ‘The Raid: Redemption‘ opened as it should – with a $15,786 per-screen average, which was second only to ‘The Hunger Games’, though on much fewer screens. Starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston, the limited-release romantic drama ‘The Deep Blue Sea‘ opened with a decent $4,138 per-screen average.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Hunger Games’ (Lionsgate) – $155,000,000

2. ’21 Jump Street’ (Sony) – $21,300,000

3. ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ (Universal) – $13,100,000

4. ‘John Carter’ (Buena Vista) – $5,014,000

5. ‘Act of Valor’ (Relativity) – $2,062,000

6. ‘Project X’ (Warner Bros.) – $1,950,000

7. ‘A Thousand Words’ (Paramount/DreamWorks) – $1,925,000

8. ‘October Baby’ (Samuel Goldwyn) – $1,718,000

9. ‘Safe House’ (Universal) – $1,400,000

10. ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ (Warner Bros.) – $1,373,000


  1. I think its funny how we have a movie that made $155 million and am movie that only made $1.3 million on the same list. I think this goes to show that, if you produce a quality product, on a subject that people actually like, people WILL go to the movies. Hollywood needs to stop producing turds, and blame their diminishing numbers on piracy. The Hunger Games is a perfect example that people will pay to see a good product.

    The only thing I am annoyed about – I haven’t seen the movie yet, but JUST started the book, and these previews and banner images are affecting how I am picturing the characters after reading the book. Maybe I should have started the book a few weeks ago.

      • That is your opinion, and by the numbers on Rotten Tomatoes, your in the minority.

        I can say that the movie is definitely not Terrible and that most likely your a fan of the books that simply wanted more than is usually possible with a book to movie translation.

        If you would like to explain “Why” you didn’t like it, that would in fact be interesting. But I’m pretty sure with such a simplistic statement your not going to sway me with your argument.

        For those that are interested in the movie, it’s definitely worth seeing and the acting is fine.

        • cardpetree

          I’ve never read the books. Never even heard of this movie before I saw the trailer about 2 weeks ago. I just hated this movie. The plot was ridiculous. The character development was just non existent. I didn’t care about any of the kids who died. I really didn’t even care about Peeta. I liked Katniss but only because she was hot. The whole part where they were introducing all the tributes and everyone was laughing at everything where nothing was funny at all was just too much. There’s too many things to list and I don’t want to give away too many spoilers. Bottom line is I just hated the movie and found it extremely unbelievable and forced.

        • cardpetree

          Btw, I’m very surprised about that Rotten Tomatoes score. I know they compile their scores from all reviews and those scores are usually pretty indicative of how good a movie actually is. The reviewers got this one dead wrong with all the silly flaws that are in this movie. I guess the hype machine just took over on this one.

          • Ryan

            Ugh, just judging you by your profile picture, it makes me not want to take anything you say about film seriously.
            If you weren’t moved by the whole Rue scene, you have no soul

  2. JM

    ‘The Hunger Games’ will join ‘Titanic,’ ‘Twilight,’ and ‘Mama Mia,’ as the 4th little girl movie in the Top 100 Highest Grossing Worldwide.

    It’s nice that little girls can claim ownership, for the first time in human history, of a blockbuster franchise that isn’t a total piece of shit.

      • JM

        ‘The 13th Warrior’ killed John McTiernan’s career.

        ‘Speed Racer’ killed The Wachowskis’s Hollywood career. Their next film they’re only co-directing, funded with German financing.

        Roger Christian is still trying to crawl out of the crater of ‘Battlefield Earth.’

        Ron Clements was almost killed by ‘Treasure Planet.’

        ‘The Postman’ killed Kevin Costner.

        ‘Monkeybone’ quite possibly killed Henry Selick.

        ‘Windtalkers’ ended John Woo’s Hollywood career, which turned out for the best, and gave us the gift that is ‘Red Cliff.’

        Post ‘John Carter,’ who’s going to trust Andrew Stanton with $200M?

          • JM

            Actors seem to survive box office flops in a way that directors do not.

            But I wouldn’t mind is this killed the career of Taylor Kitsch.

        • The back-to-back flops Rollerball and Basic, plus being convicted for his role in the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping scandal, are what killed John McTiernan’s career. I think he’ll make a comeback at some point, though.

          As Julian mentioned, Henry Selick bounced back from Monkeybone with Coraline.

        • JM

          The Wachowskis’s next next film is ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ starring Channing Tatum.

          Does that indicate a healthy career?

    • John Carter is fine, it’s stupid decisions like the trailers, and renaming the movie from “John Carter of Mars” that did this movie in.

      It’s actually a good movie and a great fun action flick, but the trailers really NEVER showed the movie off properly. Also they could have easily marketed this film to capture the female audience and they really didn’t even try.

      I could have easily built a trailers for this movie that would have attracted both mail and female viewers. Whoever was in charge of marketing this movie really should be fired, not the director.

      • JM

        Andrew Stanton had final say on a lot of the ‘John Carter’ marketing choices.

        Will Disney allow him to make the two sequels he already outlined?

        Or would it be better to wait ten years and let someone else reboot the franchise?

  3. Barsoom Bob

    I am pretty sure Mr. Stanton will be given another shot back in his wheelhouse at Pixar.

    I am heartbroken at the whole John Carter pile on. Despite a couple of flaws, it was a pretty good movie. I break down the blame game as follows:

    25% Stanton’s fault for changing the story from it’s original form and for the casting of and changing the basic character of John Carter himself from ERB’s vision.

    75% Disney’s colossally inept marketing of this movie that has more to do with internal politics at the studio, to purposeful “can’t wait to take the write down” for possible stock manipulation purposes. If interested go to http://www.thejohncarterfiles.com for articles about this and a fan cut trailer that is leaps and bounds better than anything Disney offered up.

  4. cardpetree

    Didn’t bat an eye at it. Thought it was silly. Not sure why there’s not a reply option under your avatar. Btw, sorry you’re butt hurt somebody didn’t like this movie. You’re not the first that’s peppered thy angus when I said I didn’t like it.