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Weekend Box Office: 'Hunger Games' Slays 'Titans' and 'Mirror Mirror,' Races Past $250 Million

Thompson on Hollywood By Brian Fuson | Thompson on Hollywood April 1, 2012 at 1:07PM

As expected, Lionsgates’ “The Hunger Games” held onto the top spot at the box office in spectacular fashion this weekend as the blockbuster film grossed an estimated $61.1 million, down a relatively modest 60% considering its record opening. The sci-fi actioner rocketed past the $200-million mark on Friday, or in eight days...

The production budget on “Clash” was $125 million, a little less than “Wrath,” but that was two years ago and with nearly $500 million in worldwide boxoffice receipts the first time out, the budget increase looks modest.  On the other hand, many moviegoers felt burnt by the first flick, which earned scathing reviews for the film and its shoddy retroactive 3-D.

This time, Jonathan Liebesman directed the PG-13 rated fantasy-actioner and returning stars Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Sam Worthington along with newcomer Rosamund Pike. The audience skewed 66% male, while “Wrath” picked up a B+ CinemaScore; those under 25 years of age – 45% of the audience - gave it an A-.  Only 24% of critics gave the film a positive grade, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

Relativity’s $85-million “Mirror Mirror” arrived in the third slot with an estimated $19 million, which was in line with projections but not the tentpole starring Julia Roberts that Relativity was looking for. (Relativity noted that their actual exposure was only $30 million after credits, tax incentives and foreign pre-sales.)

The family-friendly PG-rated film was directed by Tarsem Singh (Relativity's “The Immortals”) and also starred Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, and Sean Bean.

“Mirror” scored a B+ CinemaScore overall, but those under 18 years of age gave it an A (females) and A- (males), which could bode well in the weeks ahead.  With schools beginning to let out for the Easter break starting on Monday, business for “Mirror” should benefit as there is no direct competition for the family audience until April 13, when “Three Stooges” hits theaters. Critics were kinder to “Mirror” than to “Wrath,” which registered at 50% on the Tomatometer.

The Weinstein Company’s much talked-about documentary “Bully” went out unrated in five locations this weekend, and grossed an estimated $115,000, marking a strong $23,000 per theater average and a solid start for the film.

And CBS Films’ “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” jumped into the seventh slot with an estimated $1.27 million as the well-regarded drama added 82 locations this weekend, bringing the total to around $3.17 million.

Top Ten Box Office Chart April 1 2012


This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Julia Roberts, Julia Roberts, Relativity Media, Relativity, The Weinstein Co., Weinsteins

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.