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"The Hunger Games" Shatters Weekend B.O. Records

Box Office
by Sergio
March 25, 2012 12:39 PM
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battle Royale

As I stated yesterday The Hunger Games was headed to make some box office history this weekend and it did making $155 million this weekend becoming the third biggest box office weekend opening ever and the single biggest opening ever for a non-sequel movie. The Hunger...HEY WAIT! OOPS! I made yet again another mistake. That image isn't from The Hunger Games...

Sorry I got confused. That photo is from the 2000 Japanese movie Battle Royale which has been noted numerous times was the original Hunger Games long before author Suzanne Collins ever came up with the idea ot her novel series.

Collins has been quoted as saying that she had never heard of Battle Royale until she turned in her first manuscript and an editor bought to her attention the similarities between Games and Royale. But one can't deny that there are quite a lot of similarities between the two with Royale though being WAY more graphically violent and gory in a way that Hunger Games could never dare to be. Some have said the Royale is a much better film as well (which I also agree with, but in a much more in your face, over the top way)

In fact to capitalize and cash in on the release of Games, Anchor Bay Video this week released brand new, first time ever, blu-ray DVD editions of Battle Royale and its sequel and if to say that stuff is tame and if you want to watch the REAL hard core stuff, watch this.

But the real point here is that that old adage is true - what's old is new again. There's absoultely NOTHING in Hunger Games in terms of story, premise or ideas  that hasn't been done before going back to the 1932 movie The Most Dangerous Game. And the list of other films it borrows from is endless from the Battle Royale films to Rollerball (the original 1975 version, not the crummy remake), The Running Man, Ernest Dickerson's Surviving the Game with Ice T, Death Race (both the Roger Corman produced 1975 orginal and the 2008 remake) , and The Truman Show. And that's just for starters.

Ironcially producer Neil Moritz (Fast Five) back in 2006 tried to produce an American remake of Battle Royale. But he couldn't get the project off the ground because the subject matter was seen as too controversial and no one wanted to touch it. I'll bet he wishes now he hadn't dropped the project. Like I said, what's old is new again.

In other box office news, inspite of Games 21 Jump Street still did good business and both Safe House and Journey 2 are still holding on in the top ten.

1) The Hunger Games LGF $155,000,000
2) 21 Jump Street Sony $21,300,000 Total: $71,051,000
3) Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Uni. $13,100,000 Total:$177,300,000
4) John Carter BV $5,014,000 Total:$62,347,000
5) Act of Valor Rela. $2,062,000 Total:$65,942,000
6) Project X WB $1,950,000 Total:$51,752,000
7) A Thousand Words P/DW $1,925,000 Total:$14,926,000
8) October Baby Gold. $1,718,00
9) Safe House Uni. $1,400,000 Total:$122,600,000
10) Journey 2: The Mysterious Island WB $1,373,000 Total:$97,155,000
11) Casa De Mi Padre LGF $1,100,000 Total:$3,948,000
12) This Means War Fox $1,000,000 Total:$52,285,000

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  • CareyCarey | March 27, 2012 6:16 PMReply

    @ DONELLA, HIHATER and Someone Else, I stand accused and wave the white flag. Sergio is now on his on *lol*. But Nadine, Cherish and AccidentalVisitor are trying to start some new mess. *snickering*

  • Nadine | March 27, 2012 6:29 PM

    Whoa whoa whoa... what?!?!? I don't even know what's going on. OH! I see... I did a drive-by posting this morning. I didn't start it! That news went BLAZING around the world over the last 24 hours or so. I am just the messenger, my dear... I wasn't trying to join that "Battle Royale" down there... rough stuff.

  • Donella | March 27, 2012 5:28 PMReply

    Will add on Richard Bachman's (Stephen King's) The Long Walk as an even closer comparison to the list of similar films.

  • Nadine | March 27, 2012 9:15 AMReply

    I hope S&A covers the reaction of the book series FEMALE fans at the casting of RUE and, to an of course lesser extent, Cinna even though RUE was described in the book as having dark brown eyes and skin.

  • Cherish | March 27, 2012 11:06 AM

    Me too. Awaiting a thoughtful analysis/write-up from the S&A crew on the racist tweets from those disappointed that Rue was Black.

  • AccidentalVisitor | March 26, 2012 9:50 PMReply

    Anyone come across the reports about the racists tweets this weekend regarding the movie? Apparently a bunch of fans were disgusted that there were actual black people in the movie. Hilarious.

  • Donella | March 27, 2012 5:27 PM

    I want to feel sad, but their highly visible and widely-circulated stupidity makes me laugh.

  • Miles Ellison | March 26, 2012 10:39 PM

    Why do stupid people who are clearly illiterate bother to even buy books?

  • CareyCarey | March 26, 2012 5:10 PMReply

    @ Hi-Hater, look in the mirror and y'all find it fair. I mean, based on your ambiguous comments, your name fits you. Now look, personally I love the fact that Sergio took the time to qualify his comment. I did not view it as "showing off". In fact, I veiwed his post as a "headsup". That's right, I might checkout the other films he mentioned. On the other hand, I have questions concerning your vague and woefully ambiguous comments---->"Ever see the series "Everything is a Remix?" You think "Star Wars" is original? Or "Harry Potter?" Every artist steals". Now HIHATER, please explain exactly what was stolen from the aforementioned films? I doubt you can make concrete conparision between Harry Potter and any earlier film, other than the fact that they might have been about wizardry. And please list the exact similarities to Stars Wars and what movie? Anyway, I am the weighing the benefits from your comment Mr. Hater, and Sergio's post. Well, hands down it's a slam dunk..... Sergio wins by a landslide. Btw, were you showing off by mentioning "Everything is a Remix"?

  • Hihaters | March 27, 2012 12:15 AM

    Yes, I was showing off my knowledge of the prestigious world of web series. And considering that the only similarities between Battle Royale and Hunger Games is they both feature a death match played by adolescents in a totalitarian society, I don't think it should be too hard to come up with movies with as vague comparisons with Harry Potter. Orphan boy is introduced to magic from old white man with a beard in his castle. Sword in the Stone. Three adolescents, one girl and two boys, piece together a mystery in their boarding school. Young Sherlock Holmes. Young man is chosen to defeat "the Dark Lord" who is unfathomably more powerful than himself preceded by a long journey aided by friends. And he carries an instrument of this "Dark Lord" that corrupts anybody who wears it and needs to be destroyed. The Lord of the Rings. The adventures of a wizard at a school for wizardry, where bullies and rivalries are abundant. The Worst Witch. Abused child fights caretakers back with magic. Matilda. There are more, but I think you got the picture. You already got the Star Wars answer. Hope this helps!

  • Someone Else | March 26, 2012 10:08 PM

    What? Follow the link and your question will be answered. This is not a mind game.

  • CareyCarey | March 26, 2012 7:06 PM

    @ Someone Else, it looks like you got me. But wait, pump the brakes, don't make your move too soon. Now tell me, would you agree that a concept is not what we're talking about? I am suggesting that many people have "ideas" and similar "concepts" but that does not speak to the final product. So you said Star Wars "took pretty liberally" from "John Carter of Mars" book. So help me out. What exactly did they take from the book which translated to what we saw on the screen? Having asked that question, I am still questioning the validity of this statement--->"Totally new ideas are scarce and growing more and more rare each day". Someone Else, are we talking about the same thing? I mean, "new ideas" does not tell the whole story, nor does it speak to the finished product. Heck, I have an idea about a love story, but what's your vision of a "Love" story?

  • Someone Else | March 26, 2012 5:24 PM

    Star Wars took pretty liberally from the "John Carter of Mars" books, so..there you go. Totally new ideas are scarce and growing more and more rare each day.

  • Neziah | March 25, 2012 4:52 PMReply

    Battle Royale is one of my favorites, but it bugs me that it only became popular because of Tarantino and of course THG.

  • Wanett | March 25, 2012 3:12 PMReply

    Let's not forget, all of these stories are taken from old myths and legends anyway. So, in a way, whichever film/novel was first, it was taken from some other source material. It's the hero's journey whether your protagonist is a boy wizard, a huntress, a young jedi....and on and on.

  • HiHaters | March 25, 2012 1:59 PMReply

    I am so tired of pretentious critics showing off by implying a storyteller "stole" aspects of their work from something else. There are very few movies (if any) that can boast about being completely original. Ever see the series "Everything is a Remix?" You think "Star Wars" is original? Or "Harry Potter?" Every artist steals. Get over it.

  • Akimbo | March 26, 2012 10:21 AM

    Why strongly imply that Hunger Games is a rip off of Battle Royale if you acknowledge the fact that many similar stories have been told and created? Not to mention that public battles to the death have actually been practiced in history? This site seems to be developing an interesting vendetta against anything "mainstream."

  • hihaters | March 25, 2012 5:24 PM

    And what courageous words did he write today?

  • Darkan | March 25, 2012 4:46 PM

    @ HIHATERS. Thank God for writers like Sergio. He writes and speaks what others think and what some others are to afraid to write or say.

  • hihaters | March 25, 2012 4:17 PM

    I'm sorry, but where did you say this? I'm combing through your piece, and all I see is you repeating "what's old is new again." And if everything "takes, steals or borrows," then why even mention it? Is it just to show off your movie knowledge? If you had done a separate piece like, "movies you'd enjoy if you liked the Hunger Games" or other last man standing films or other pop culture gaze critiques, then I probably wouldn't have commented. But your hipster "I've seen this before" tone is what compelled me. Listing a bunch of movies that have vaguely similar themes (without any explanation mind you) is not an intelligent critique. It's non-contextual lazy one. So thank you for adding nothing to the cinephile discussion.

  • Sergio | March 25, 2012 2:43 PM

    Did you read my piece? I say that there's nothing that's ever new. Everything takes, steals or borrows from something else

  • Jmac | March 25, 2012 1:32 PMReply

    Was wondering if someone would bring up Battle Royale here re: Hunger Games. The Japanese do these types of films best.

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