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Not even Titanic nor American Reunion appears to be a match for holdover The Hunger Games, which is widely expected to win the Easter weekend race at the domestic box office, based on early Friday returns.
Universal’s American Reunion, which opened at midnight Thursday, was off to a good start, however, and pacing safely ahead of James Cameron’s 3D rerelease of Titanic by Friday afternoon. Both films are benefiting from kids and college students being out of school, while many adults also are off work for Good Friday.
Reunion is expected to gross $8 million to $10 million for the day, putting it in the $25 million range for the weekend (Lionsgate’s Hunger Games, now in its third weekend, could gross $30 million or more).
From Paramount and 20th Century Fox, the 3D Titanic release is expected to gross $6 million or $7 million on Friday for a three-day take of $16 million or $17 million. Titanic opened on Wednesday, and grossed $8.4 million in its first two days, meaning a five-day debut in the $25 million range.
Box-office observers cautioned that Friday’s landscape could change if American Reunion drops off more than most R-rated pics Friday night.
Hunger Games has topped the domestic box office since opening March 23 and has earned $269.3 million in North America. It’s possible it could jump the $300 million mark on Sunday, becoming the first movie to do so since last year’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which ultimately cumed $352.4 million domestically, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which cumed $381 million.
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