Audiences Take a Big Bite out of “The Hunger Games”

The first massive movie smash of 2012 opened this weekend and boy did it bow big. Lionsgate’s film adaptation of the massively successful young adult book trilogy, The Hunger Games, opened to a huge $155 million making it the third biggest debut in history (behind only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 and The Dark Knight). It set the record for the biggest opening for a non-sequel film and a March debut. The film is wowing audiences with great exit polls (I gave this very entertaining and surprisingly intense film an “A-“ grade) and is likely to have long legs ahead as there is no big competition for franchise films until May. Hunger also benefitted from strong reviews and an attractive and very talented cast including Oscar nominees Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Donald Sutherland, Emmy nominee Elizabeth Banks, SAG Award Nominee Josh Hutcherson, SAG Award winner Wes Bentley, Grammy winner Lenny Kravitz and Aussie breakout Liam Hemsworth. (Take that you Twilight crap!). In fact, the movie seems to have single-handedly tuned around Lionsgate’s financial troubles with their shares rocketing over the past week… No other films made much noise this weekend, but 21 Jump Street and The Lorax held well despite the big Games onslaught. Take a look at the new top ten below and head to Box Office Mojo for more on all the numbers.

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 N The Hunger Games LGF $155,000,000 – 4,137 – $37,467 $155,000,000 $78 1
2 1 21 Jump Street Sony $21,300,000 -41.3% 3,121 – $6,825 $71,051,000 $42 2
3 2 Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Uni. $13,100,000 -42.5% 3,677 -92 $3,563 $177,300,000 $70 4
4 3 John Carter BV $5,014,000 -63.1% 3,212 -537 $1,561 $62,347,000 $250 3
5 5 Act of Valor Rela. $2,062,000 -44.8% 2,216 -549 $931 $65,942,000 $12 5
6 4 Project X WB $1,950,000 -51.8% 2,065 -857 $944 $51,752,000 – 4
7 6 A Thousand Words P/DW $1,925,000 -47.0% 1,787 -108 $1,077 $14,926,000 $40 3
8 N October Baby (2012) Gold. $1,718,000 – 390 – $4,405 $1,718,000 – 1
9 7 Safe House Uni. $1,400,000 -48.5% 1,330 -590 $1,053 $122,600,000 $85 7
10 8 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island WB $1,373,000 -42.5% 1,340 -595 $1,025 $97,155,000 $79 7

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