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