Weekend Wrap-Up

Hunger Games Devours Titans and Julia Roberts

By John Hamann

April 1, 2012

Gratuitous butt shot.

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Reviews were also worse this time out. Wrath, at the time of this writing, sits at 24% fresh, with only 28 critics out of a possible 115 finding something to like. Clash on the other hand, is the better reviewed film (ha!), sitting at 28% fresh. Who would have thought that would happen, given the lessons-learned out of the original? The press tells us that Sam Worthington wanted to get into his character more, that the 3D was going to be so much better, and the writing would improve. The original director, Louis Letterier, was dropped, and Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) was brought in. Yes, they brought in the director of Darkness Falls and Texas Chainsaw: The Beginning to helm their $150 million picture. Does anyone still think Warner Bros. was trying to deliver a quality picture? No way.

Clash of the Titans was big over opening weekend, and did earn $163 million stateside. What you may not know is that Clash earned $330 million from overseas cinemas alone, and when subtitles are involved with a picture like this, the words and acting don't really matter all that much in foreign venues. Instead, it's all about effects and 3D. Warner Bros. may take a write down domestically on Wrath of the Titans, but this is still going to be a half-billion movie for the studio. At least the People's Republic of China will be happy.

Third spot this weekend goes to Mirror Mirror, the new Julia Roberts film. Directed by Tarsem Singh, the film looks great, but at least according to some reviews, there's not much substance. Regardless, Mirror Mirror managed to earn $19 million from 3,603 venues, giving it a venue average of $5,273. Mirror Mirror was quite fresh at RottenTomatoes only a few days ago, but has dipped since (I will save you my conspiracy theories on early reviews at RT). As of this writing, critics are split right down the middle on it, with 58 reviews going both ways. This is an $85 million film for Relativity Media, but reports say that rights to overseas grosses were sold off, reducing the film's exposure to risk. An opening like this likely guarantees a $60 million domestic finish, so Relativity should escape unscathed, but likely not much better than that.

Fourth place goes to 21 Jump Street, which is turning into a leggy hit as it continues to benefit from a very smart release pattern. Jump Street earned another $15 million, down a shy 27% compared to last weekend's showdown against The Hunger Games, when it earned $20.5 million. The Sony release is proving how well smaller counter-programming can work against these much bigger films, as the comedy cost only $42 million to make, and has earned $93 million at the domestic box office so far. However, next weekend it will face off against American Reunion, and will have to battle for exactly the same audience.


Fifth is Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, which is now in its fifth weekend. The animated earth hug earned $8 million in its fifth frame, and dropped a respectable 39%. The $70 million Universal film has a running total now of $189.6 million, and still has a few more weekends before hitting the $200 million mark.

John Carter From Financial Hell is sixth. After earning $5.1 million last weekend, the Disney Disaster took in a laughable $2 million this weekend, giving John Carter another hefty drop of 61%. While this movie has been beat down badly, the worldwide gross has almost matched the $250 million production budget, which means Disney may lose only $200 million on this one instead of $300 million. Yay!

The rest of the top ten are there because they showed up, and still handle enough screens to make them relevant. Seventh is Salmon Fishing in Yemen, a drama with Ewan McGregor, which earned $1.2 million. It expanded to 483 screens this weekend, and has a cume of $3.2 million. Eighth is Act of Valor, which earned $1 million and has a cume of $67.7 million against a $12 million budget. Ninth is A Thousand Words, which earned only $915,000 million, and has a running total of $16.5 million. And finally, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island holds on to a top ten spot for a final week, with $835,000 for the weekend, bringing its total just shy of $100 million, at $98.5 million.

Overall this weekend, the 2012 box office continues to embarrass the pants of the same weekends in 2011 (the last two thanks solely to The Hunger Games). Last year, Hop was on top (for the first of two weekends of April if you can believe that) with $37.5 million, leading the top 12 to $114 million. This weekend, The Hunger Games led the top 12 to a strong $144.9 million. Next weekend brings the aforementioned American Reunion as well as Titanic in 3D, which reminds me, I need to ask for the weekend off.

Top Weekend Box Office for 3/30/12-4/1/12 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Hunger Games Lionsgate $61,100,000 - 60% $251,032,838
2 Wrath of the Titans Warner Bros. Pictures $34,200,000 New $34,200,000
3 Mirror Mirror Relativity Media $19,000,000 New $19,000,000
4 21 Jump Street Columbia Pictures (Sony) $15,000,000 - 27% $93,000,000
5 Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Universal Pictures $8,013,120 - 39% $189,560,920
6 John Carter WALT DISNEY $2,000,000 - 61% $66,200,000
7 Salmon Fishing In t He Yemen Cbs Films $1,234,000 + 76% $3,170,979
8 Act of Valor Relativity $1,006,000 - 51% $67,749,494
9 A Thousand Words Paramount Pictures $915,000 - 53% $16,520,000
10 Journey 2: the Mysterious Island WARNER BROS. $835,000 - 38% $98,480,000
11 Project X Warner Bros. Pictures $825,000 - 57% $53,372,000
12 October Baby Samuel Goldwyn $778,642 - 54% $3,101,393
  Also Opening/Notables
  Bully The Weinstein Company $115,000 New $115,000
  Intruders Millennium $40,456 New $40,456
  Goon Magnolia $35,000 New $35,000
  The Island President Samuel Goldwyn $15,600 New $19,504
  Turn Me On, Dammit! New Yorker $11,515 New $11,515
  The Raid: Redemption Sony Classics $284,250 + 33% $596,196
  Jeff Who Lives At Home Paramount Vantage $675,000 + 15% $2,689,000
  Casa De Mi Padre Lionsgate $662,000 - 44% $5,023,599
  Safe House Universal $776,385 - 45% $123,878,115
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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