Of course The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was going to be No.1 this weekend - as if it was going to be a big surprise.
But the question b.o. analysts were asking was whether the film could beat the $174 million weekend b.o. opening that Iron Man 3 made back in May, which still holds the record for the biggest opening for any film this year.
Predictions were all over the place. Most said the film would come in around the $150 million mark, though some early predictions said it could do as much as $175 million, while on Saturday there were predictions of somewhere around a “disappointing” $135 million.
Only in a bizarre place such as Hollywood would any film making $135 million in a single weekend be considered a disappointment.
But in the end, Catching Fire made a stupendous $161 million (and another $141 million overseas), not beating Iron Man’s record, but does it really matter? That’s a spectacular opening no matter how you slice it, for any film, and put Catching Fire well on its way to being one of the highest grossing films of the year, despite opening so late in the year.
Of course THE more important question you’re probably most wondering is how did The Best Man Holiday hold up? Well for you fans out there, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news, is that the film dropped big, over 58% making, $12.5 million, for a total so far of $50.3 million. As I suspected in my b.o. report last Sunday, the “fanboys” (or more accurately “fangirls”) who really wanted to see the film went out last week. After that, it was more of a “wait and see” attitude among the rest of the film going audience.
The good news however though is that it’s still going to be a big moneymaker, though the film is not going to reach the $100 million mark as some thought it would. At this stage, it’s looking to top out past $70 million, which is twice what the first film made, and considering its very modest $17 million production budget, that puts the film well into the black. And also remember that a third Best Man movie has already been greenlit by Universal.
As for the other main studio release this weekend, the dismal $8.2 million take for the Dreamworks’ comedy Delivery Man proves once again the lackluster appeal of "how-in-the-hell-did-this-guy-ever-become-a-movie-star?" Vince Vaughn. His one-note, fast talking. clueless boor shtick is wearing very thin, if it hasn’t worn out by now. In the real world, he would be tending a bar in some dive somewhere, not getting lead roles in movies.
12 Years A Slave has grossed just over $29 million so far, and looks like it’s headed for close to $50 million domestically.