Katniss 1, Stifler 0. The Hunger Games is now starting to show off some of its stamina, as the sci-fi survival thriller dropped only 31 percent for an estimated $12.9 million on Friday.
That puts the movie on pace for a $32 million weekend, and means that Katniss should reach $300 million domestically by Sunday night. If that happens, The Hunger Games will have reached $300 million in 17 days, tying Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith as the sixth-fastest movie to hit that figure.
In second place was American Reunion, which debuted to $9.2 million on Friday. The R-rated comedy, the fourth theatrical release in the American Pie series, should finish the weekend with about $22 million. That’s a respectable figure, but a bit of a disappointment considering the prior three Pie flicks opened to an average of $32.4 million. The only Pie movie that will have earned a lower opening-weekend number than American Reunion is the original American Pie, which started out with $18.7 million in 1999. Adjust for inflation, though, and that figure jumps past American Reunion to $28.8 million.
Still, Reunion cost a fairly moderate $50 million to produce, and it won’t face another R-rated comedy until The Five-Year Engagement hits April 27. So the potential for solid box-office legs is there, especially considering that Reunion scored a “B+” rating from CinemaScore audiences. According to CinemaScore, 65 percent of the film’s audience was between the ages of 18 and 34. That makes sense considering that those who saw the original American Pie as older teenagers are now around 30 years old.
The 3-D re-release of Titanic settled for third place with $7.1 million. That puts James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster on track for a somewhat underwhelming $19 million weekend. That would beat Beauty and the Beast 3D’s $17.8 million debut, but fall short of The Lion King 3D ($30.2 million) and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D ($22.5 million). Keep in mind, though, that Titanic 3D opened on Wednesday and headed into the weekend having already grossed $8.4 million, meaning it’ll finish the weekend with a five-day total around $27 million. The romantic epic’s 3-D conversion cost $18 million and took 60 weeks to complete, and the movie ultimately needs to pass $50 million domestically to be deemed a success.
Rounding out the top five were Wrath of the Titans and Mirror Mirror. The former dropped 56 percent for $5.4 million. That may seem like a stronger hold than its 2010 predecessor Clash of the Titans, which fell 68 percent its second Friday. But keep in mind that yesterday was Good Friday – a day many people had off from work or school – and that Easter Sunday is typically not a big moviegoing day. Thus, expect Wrath of the Titans to end up with a little more than $14 million this weekend.
The Snow White family film Mirror Mirror slipped a slight 21 percent for $4.6 million, and is on pace for at least $11 million this weekend. The fact that no new family movies opened yesterday is certainly helping the PG-rated picture this holiday weekend. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.
1. The Hunger Games – $12.9 mil
2. American Reunion – $9.2 mil
3. Titanic 3D – $7.1 mil
4. Wrath of the Titans – $5.4 mil
5. Mirror Mirror – $4.6 mil
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Box office update: ‘Titanic 3D’ cruises to $425,000 from preview and midnight showings