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Moviegoers continue to feast on Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games, which easily topped the domestic box office in its third weekend, falling a narrow 43 percent to $33.5 million for a cume of $302.8 million. The pic jumped the $300 million mark in only 17 days, the fastest for any non-summer or non-holiday title.
Internationlly, Hunger Games’ foreign cume is now $157.1 million, putting its global total at a sizeable $460 million.
Universal’s R-rated comedy American Reunion — returning the raunchy franchise to the big screen after a nine year hiatus and several direct-to-DVD titles — opened to a fair $21.5 million domestically. The big surprise was overseas, where the pic grossed $19.3 million from 28 markets and all tied with Titanic 3D in Russia.
American Reunion placed second for Easter weekend, followed by James Cameron’s 3D makeover of Titanic, which earned $17.4 million, putting its five-day debut at $25.7 million. Overseas, Titanic 3D turned in $35.5 million from 84 territories, giving it a strong shot of ultimately earning $100 million at the foreign box office. Paramount and 20th Century Fox are partners on the property.
Warner Bros.’ Wrath of the Titans was the No. 1 film internationally, earning $43 million from 60 markets for a hearty foreign cume of $152.8 million, more than double its soft 10-day domestic total of $58.9 million.
Domestically, Titanic 3D — which cost $18 million to convert — couldn’t match last fall’s 3D rerelease of The Lion King, which opened to a stellar $30.1 million on its way to grossing $94.2 million domestically. Titanic, handicapped by its lengthy running time (195 minutes), did open higher than the recent 3D rerelease of George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace ($22.5 million) and Beauty and the Beast ($17.8 million).
Paramount president of domestic marketing and distribution Megan Colligan said Titanic 3D isn’t a limited engagement, and expects the 3D rerelease to have exceptionally good word of mouth. “There’s something very special about seeing it again on the big screen. It’s an experience,” she said.
Titanic 3D played in 2,674 theaters, including 79 IMAX locations, which turned in 8 percent of Saturday’s total gross alone. More IMAX screens will be added next weekend. For the five days, IMAX turned in $2 million, and boasted nine of the pic’s top 10 theaters.
The rerelease of Titanic — timed to the 100th anniversary of the real-life sinking of the luxury liner — received an A CinemaScore and drew plenty of younger moviegoers, particuarly females. Of those buying tickets, 51 percent were under the age of 25, while 60 percent were female.
In financial terms, both Titanic 3D and American Reunion already seem to be on strong ground.
“We’re very happy with the worldwide result for American Reunion,” said Universal president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco. “Based on the cost, this is going to be a very successful endeavor for Universal.”
Universal kept the movie’s production budget to $50 million, excluding marketing costs. American Reunion reunites the stars from American Pie (1999), led by Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy.
The comedy, which Relativity co-financed, scored a B+ CinemaScore and played evenly among the genders. More than 60 percent of the audience was older than 25.
All told, the American Pie franchise — between box office and home entertainment — has generated more than $1.1 billion in sales worldwide.
At the specialty box office, CBS Film’s Ewan McGregor–Emily Blunt indie adventure Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, continued to please, coming in No. 8 for the weekend in grosing $975,000 from only 524 theaters.
The top location average of the weekend went to Sony Pictures Classics’ comedy Damsels in Distress, which earned $64,199 as it opened in four theaters for an average $16,050. Written and directed by Whit Stillman, Damsels — set at a East Coast university — stars Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody and Analeigh Tipton.
In its second weekend, Lee Hirsch’s documentary Bully held up relatively well, grossing $74,786 from six theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a screen average of $12,464. From the Weinstein Co., the film will expand next weekend into 55 markets with its new PG-13 rating.
The Met: Live in HD’s Saturday transmission of Manon, starring Anna Netrebko, grossed a strong $2 million from 850 screens across the country. More than 105,000 people saw the opera live in 41 additional countries.
Domestic Box Office, April 6-April 8
Title/Weeks in release/Theater count, Studio/Three-day weekend total/Cume
1. The Hunger Games, 3/4,137, Lionsgate, $33.5 million, $302.8 million.
2. American Reunion, 1/3,191, Universal/Relativity, $21.5 million.
3. Titanic 3D, 1/2,674, Paramount/Fox, $17.4 million, $25.7 million.
4. Wrath of the Titans, 2/3,545, Warners/Legendary, $15 million, $58.9 million.
5. Mirror Mirror, 2/3,618, Relativity, $11 million, $36.5 million.
6. 21 Jump Street, 4/3,009, Sony/MGM, $10.2 million, $109.6 million.
7. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, 6/2,994, Universal/Illumination, $5 million, $198.2 million.
8. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, 5/524, CBS Films, $975K million, $4.6 million.
9. John Carter, 5/1,015, Disney, $829K million, $68 million.
10. Safe House, 9/480, Universal, $581K, $124.8 million.
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