The Hunger Games Hungers for Everyone's Money
The Hunger Games was so starved for cash it ate all of it, like Galactus devouring planets. There’s none left for any other movie. $155 million opening weekend: the third biggest opening of all time just behind the final Harry Potter movie and The Dark Knight, and better than all of the Twilight flicks. Suck on that, glittering vamps.
Men, women, and children all flocked to the theaters this weekend to see teenagers kill each other for the pleasure of others, much like the Capitol’s audience in the movie itself. Lionsgate’s movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling tweener novels about a dystopian future where the super wealthy force the huddled masses to send teenagers as an offering to compete in a televised death match opened with $68.2 million on Friday and another $50 million on Saturday on its way to a record shattering $155 million weekend.
Box Office Mojo reports that $10.6 million of that enormous gross came via Imax screenings, which is a very impressive figure for a 2D movie that doesn't include any footage shot in IMAX.
Toss in another $59 million internationally and The Hunger Games total is already at $206 million after just a single weekend.
In one weekend The Hunger Games has already surpassed Lionsgate’s previous $119 million highest-grossing movie, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. I had no idea that was their highest grossing movie to date. Kind of surprising and even a little depressing to know $119 million has been their pinnacle up to now.
One movie theater near where I live devoted nine out of 16 screens to this movie alone. I still think that was going overboard but with numbers like these I doubt many, if any, of those nine theaters were close to empty this weekend.
The rest of the weekend box office does not matter much. 21 Jump Street held on respectably at second place, John Carter is still poised to lose about as much money as The Hunger Games grossed worldwide this weekend, an anti-abortion movie (October Baby) opening on less than 400 screens took in over a million dollars, and a movie in which everyone gets aborted in the most brutal manner possibly (The Raid: Redemption) raked in a solid $221,000 on only 14 screens. It was still all about The Hunger Games and will most likely continue to be so next weekend and the weekend after that.
Next weekend brings the sequel that only its producers were clamoring for: Wrath of the Titans. Clash of the Titans made enough money internationally to convince the studio that there’s an audience for a sequel. But will they convince the audience that this is a sequel they want? To paraphrase a popular line from The Hunger Games, the odds are not ever in their favor.
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