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There’s no stopping moviegoers’ ravenous appetite for The Hunger Games.
The Lionsgate event pic easily stayed at No. 1 at the Friday box office despite the entry of two new titles, Warner Bros.’ 3D action pic Wrath of the Titans and Relativity Media’s Snow White movie Mirror Mirror, starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer.
Hunger Games is projected to earn anywhere from $20 million to $23 million on Friday for a second weekend gross of $64 million, putting its 10-day domestic cume north of $250 million, a staggering sum.
Warner Bros.’ Wrath of the Titans got off to a slower than expected start, with Friday’s earnings in the $11 million range, including $1 million in midnight earnings. At that pace, the sequel may not gross much more than $30 million for the weekend.
The 3D sequel returns Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes in the lead roles and is directed by Jonathan Liebesman. Actors new to the franchise include Rosamund Pike, Venezuela’s Edgar Ramirez and the U.K.-born Toby Kebbell.
Louis Leterrier directed Clash of the Titans, which debuted just north of $61 million during Easter weekend in 2010. Warners doesn’t expect the sequel to reach the same level, since this weekend isn’t a holiday. Still, pre-weekend tracking suggested Wrath would open between $35 million and $40 million. But by opening a week before Easter, Warners can take advantage of spring break, which is staggered over the next two weeks.
Wrath of the Titans could be a powerhouse overseas, where it opens this weekend in virtually every major market besides Japan (conversely, Hunger Games got off to a slow start internationally last weekend).
Mirror Mirror is expected to gross $6 million or $7 million on Friday for a weekend debut in the $22 million to $24 million range. Relativity hopes to take advantage of being the only PG title in the marketplace until April 27, when Sony opens The Pirates! Band of Misfits.
The retelling of the classic fairy tale is an important property for Relativity as the company tries to produce its own films. Mirror Mirror, shot in Montreal, cost $80 million to make after rebates. Relativity sold off foreign rights and says its exposure on the production budget is $30 million (that doesn’t include marketing costs).
Mirror Mirror is the first of two Snow White movies opening this year, though Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman, which bows in the summer, isn’t a family film.
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