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Weekend Wrap-Up: Box Office Feels Hunger Pangs

April 9th, 2012

There's good news and bad news at the box office this weekend. The good news was The Hunger Games, which not only earned its third first place finish on the chart, but it also held on better than expected and crossed a major milestone. The bad news was practically everything else. Neither American Reunion or Titanic 3D matched expectations, while the overall box office suffered as a result falling 17% to $123 million. Fortunately, this was higher than last year by a margin of 6%. Year-to-date, 2012 is still ahead of 2011 with $2.81 billion to $2.34 billion. Unfortunately, we needed the new releases this weekend to be stronger if we have a chance of winning over the next couple weekends.

The Hunger Games landed on the very high end of expectations with $33.11 million over the weekend giving it a total of $302.45 million after three. It is the first film of 2012 to cross the $300 million milestone and the first $300 million since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. It has already made enough domestically to cover its entire production budget and P&A budget, while it is quickly banking enough to cover the other installments in the franchise. There is little doubt the other books in the franchise will be adapted as soon as possible. (Although there are some issues with Jennifer Lawrence's schedule.)

While Universal was hoping for a case of, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." it was more of a case of "Out of sight, out of mind." American Reunion was a distant second place with $21.51 million. This was about $10 million below analysts' predictions and the weakest opening in the franchise since the first one. The reviews suggest weak word-of-mouth and short legs. The film cost $50 million to make, which isn't too much, and it is performing better internationally, so it should make enough to show a profit early in its home market run. However, this is the last of these characters we will see. (Barring an American Pie: The Next Generation coming out in 18 years.)

Titanic 3D also missed expectations with just $17.29 million over the weekend for a total of $25.65 million after five days of release. Most predicted more than that over three days. This pushed the lifetime box office of the movie to $626.43 million. On the one hand, this is less than expected. On the other hand, the film only cost $18 million to convert to 3-D, which is actually on the high end for this type of film, so breaking even won't be an issue and more 3-D conversions are on the way.

Wrath of the Titans added $14.73 million over the weekend for a total of $56.61 million after two. It could have been worse, but even so, it will only make about half as much as its predecessor.

Mirror Mirror held up better earning $11.10 million over the weekend for a total of $36.77 million. It was an expensive movie to make, so unless it is a stunning hit internationally, it will cost the studio money.

21 Jump Street missed the top five with $10.00 million over the weekend. But it crossed the century mark on Friday and its running tally has risen to $109.41 million.

Housefull 2, the sequel to Housefull, opened in the top ten, which is very rare for a Bollywood film. Granted, it did so with just $847,000, but it is still worth noting.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Titanic, 21 Jump Street, Wrath of the Titans, The Hunger Games, Mirror Mirror, American Reunion