The Hunger Games may just win a third straight weekend at the box office, but in fairness, Hollywood isn't really trying that hard to unseat it. Perhaps literally out of ideas, they turn to making this weekend into a version of “I Love the 90s."
Weekend Forecast for April 6-8, 2012
By Reagen Sulewski
April 6, 2012
We already got things started on Wednesday with the re-release of Titanic, the former Biggest Damn Film In The World From James Cameron, now in 3D. Did this really need to happen, you ask? Hasn't everyone seen this? Well, sure, if you're in your mid-20s or older, since if this film were a person, it'd be in high school now. You're welcome. Also, were 3D re-releases of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and for Og's sake, The Phantom Menace all that necessary? But you all went to them, so every plausible film is getting the treatment (Gerry 3D!).
In some respects, Titanic is probably a natural film to get this treatment, with its combination of sweeping design and the kinetic second half filled with (Spoiler alert!) the boat sinking. Then again, a lot of the middle (aka the talky part) isn't going to benefit a lot from that except for maybe thatonesceneyouwhatI'mtalkingabout.
These re-releases have generally performed in proportion to their original box office, though the Wednesday start for Titanic throws a bit of a monkey wrench in things. Maybe a little troubling is that it finished second to The Hunger Games for day one, by a couple hundred thousand. OK, so it's possible people weren't really aware it was coming out on Wednesday, that happens. But more likely is that the backlash for Titanic has stuck around all these years, mainly because of That Damned Song. And let's not forget that the reason Titanic made $600 million was that teenaged girls went and saw it again and again and again and again, and they can probably only see it six, seven times tops this weekend. What I'm saying here is that Titanic's base demographic is probably less than that $600 million domestic total would have us believe. I still think it's due for about a $28 million opening weekend, which is – ta da! - almost exactly what it opened to in 1997.
This week's entry in Sequels We Didn't Ask For is American Reunion, the fourth (or 87th, if you count all those things Eugene Levy made) American Pie movie, which is set to answer the vital question of “Hey, whatever happened to that dude that humped a pie, anyway?” Well, he bounced around the lower rungs of Hollywood for 15 years and his agent finally got a call again. Yes, Jason Biggs is a thing again, along with all the rest of the principal American Pie actors who have been having a trainwreck-off for the past decade or so, except Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, and I guess I'll throw Chris Klein into that.
With most of the actors now the same age or older as Stifler's Mom in the original (look it up!), the film moves from the gags about sex-starved teens to gags about sex-starved 30 somethings, and updating us on every marginal character from the first film. And hey, John Cho is famous now, so let's see how the MILF guy is doing!
Judging by the trailer, we're talking almost entirely nostalgia value for this, as there's a lack of, whatchamacallem... jokes! in it. That's not always the biggest impediment to a film becoming a hit, particularly one with a pedigree, but I question just how strong the desire was for a new American Pie movie. Tracking has this one shooting for high 20s but I believe the real result is going to be quite lower, around $21 million.
It was perhaps inevitable that The Hunger Games would have a significant falloff from that record setting opening weekend it had, thanks to all the midnight screenings and rabid teen fans and whatnot. 60% was probably a bit more than most people were thinking, I'm sure, though it's not like with $250 million in the bank already that anyone is crying poverty over it. As always, the third weekend tells the story for these giant blockbusters as to what their final total will look like, and anything over $25 million is probably going to look okay for The Hunger Games. I'd guess around $30 million as an actual figure here.
The Hunger Games was in danger of being the only film earning more than $5 million for a little bit there, though last weekend gave us a couple of moderate openers in Wrath of the Titans and Mirror Mirror, though both can rightly be called disappointments in their own ways, because of budget and/or marquee issues. Wrath's $33 million represents nearly a halving of the opening weekend of its predecessor, and with a troubling $150 million budget, it's lucky John Carter is out there to provide a distraction. A big drop off to $14 million seems in store this weekend.
Mirror Mirror's comedic take on the Snow White story didn't have a lot of takers, despite the prominent role for Julia Roberts, opening to just $18 million. While Roberts hasn't been the force that she was in the late '90s - early '00s, this is the kind of role that should have been an easy win for her. I'm less inclined to blame her than the material, which was an uneasy mix of fantasy and comedy with a bit too much slapstick and too many forced pop cultural references. Live action Shrek is a no-go, I'm guessing now. We should see about $10 million for weekend number two.
Comedy is well represented anyway, by 21 Jump Street, which will break $100 million this weekend, thanks to a great holdover last time out. The only real downside to this is the inevitable resurgence in TV-adaptations this will cause, this time with '90s series as a focus. Saved By The Bell: The Movie, anyone? Anyway, here's another $9 million.