For the second week in a row, “The Hunger Games” laid claim to the box office. This past weekend offered a unique challenge for the reigning champ, however. Two relatively big studio films, “Wrath of the Titans” and “Mirror Mirror,” challenged Katniss Everdeen and the rest of the tributes, but the two competitors could not overcome. “The Hunger Games” collected an estimated $61 million over the weekend, a 60 percent drop from its $152.5 million debut.
Despite its enormous opening weekend, “The Hunger Games” managed to maintain the buzz around it heading into the second weekend. Jeff Bock, a box-office analyst with Exhibitor Relations, Inc., said that for how big “The Hunger Games” opened, a steeper drop could have been expected.
“Ticket sales dipped 60 percent, but when compared to ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,’ which dropped 72 percent, that is a great hold,” Bock said. “Especially when you consider how great both films were received. ‘Deathly Hallows, Part 2′ got some of the best reviews of the franchise, and it still had a huge decline in the second weekend.”
Part of that lasting success, says Phil Contrino from BoxOffice.com, belongs to the adults, who are interested in seeing the movie but aren’t part of the rabid fanbase. “It’s appealing to adults, and adults don’t feel the need to rush out opening weekend. They’ll take their time discovering it.”
Almost as important as what “The Hunger Games” has — like its broad appeal — is what it doesn’t have. “The film has everything: love, mystery, and adventure. One thing it doesn’t have: 3-D,” Bock said. “Proving once again, it is not a necessary distraction for tentpole films.”
But can “The Hunger Games” win the weekend competition for a third time in a row? Both Contrino and Box Office Guru’s Gitesh Pandya agree that the fight will be a difficult one.
Pandya sees James Cameron’s 3-D revamp of “Titanic” as the one that could take down “The Hunger Games.” “This coming weekend, ‘Hunger Games’ will be challenged by the 3-D release of ‘Titanic,’ which can compete with ‘Hunger Games’ for the #1 spot if it can break $30M over the Friday-to-Sunday Easter frame.”
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