Box Office Prognosis: The Odds Were in ‘The Hunger Games’ Favor As It Scores the Third Highest Opening Ever

Well, we all saw it coming…right?  The Hunger Game pounced the, well, I would say “competition”, but no studio was brave enough to open a film against Hunger Games.  So I guess The Hunger Game only pounced expectations then.  Most assumed the film would open to the tune of $125-130 million, which even then was nothing to scoff at.  But Hunger Games did even BETTER, grossing an estimated $155 million dollars for the weekend.  That’s super impressive, considering the film only had a budget of $78 million.  In fact, the film broke even in a day and a half of release.  That’s pretty damn impressive no matter how you look at it.  Also, the film is record breaking; it holds the highest midnight opening ever for a non-sequel with almost $20 million dollars, and the highest opening weekend for a non-sequel as well.  Actually, it currently ranks as the third highest grossing weekend opening in general, only behind The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  

And like I said, the film’s success shouldn’t be a surprised.  The other two big teen franchises, Twilight and Harry Pottergross similar numbers.  And unlike those Twilight, Hunger Games is really one of those films that captures a four quadrant audience.  For instance, very few 12 year old boys would be caught dead in the girly Twilight films.  But a film like Hunger Games, about teenagers forced to brutally murder each other?  That gets a young boys attention.  Add in the romantic aspect (which becomes a heavy factor later on in the series but, SHH! don’t tell the boys that), and you have a bona fide blockbuster on your hand.  And don’t aspect the numbers to drop too badly in the coming weeks; unlike Twilight, Hunger Games is regaurded as a really good film.  No matter how you slice it, Hunger Games is a tremendous, amazing success.  And it won’t be the first one in 2012.  We’re in for a very good year, box office wise.

TheHungerGames Katniss

Further proof of that notion is 21 Jump Street, which opened last week to a tune of $35 million, which is exquisite for an R-rated comedy based on an 80’s TV show about young cops in high school.  Despite heavy competition from Hunger Games, 21 Jump Street grossed an estimated $21 million this week, good enough to land the film in the second place spot.  That puts Jump Street with an estimated cume of $71 million for the two week time period which, at a $42 million budget, is pretty damn good.  At this point, achieving numbers in the $100 million are more than attainable.  

At third this weekend was The Lorax, continuing its four week high.  With a dip of only 43 percent, the film grossed about $13 million dollars for the weekend, which puts its total at around $177 million.  Well it may be a stretch to reach $200 million domestically, I’m sure Universal doesn’t mind very much; they’re already making a pretty good payday from it (the film was only budgeted at about $70 million dollars).  This is just further proof that Dr. Seuss is unstoppable, at least if Mike Myers is at a far enough distance.

JohnCarterOnAVehicle

You know what isn’t making a good payday, nee, a payday at all?  Disney’s John Carter.  It’s been three weeks, and John Carter is nothing but a disaster.  It has grossed a meager $68 million dollars at the box office, and has the highest budget of probably any movie currently released (a whopping $250 million, if you were wondering).  To be fair, I’m pretty sure everyone knew John Carter was going to be a failure…although I was guessing it would gross $60 million TOTAL.  So in that case, good job Disney.  In every other case, Disney…c’mon bro.  Just c’mon.  At this point, John Carter will be riding on International box office alone, which accounts for about 73% of its gross right now.  And it STILL hasn’t reached $250 yet.  Ouch…just ouch.  This weekend’s pathetic fourth place take of $5 million isn’t helping much either.  I would say poor Disney but, come on, they’re Disney.  They will be fine.

Rounding out the Top 5 is Act of Valor, which has grossed about $65 million in its five week run.  That’s pretty impressive for a war film starring literally no-name actors…I guess that whole “Real, BATTLE HARDENED U.S Seals” advertising gimmick worked, didn’t it?  Anyways, the film grossed about $2 million dollars this weekend, which seems low for a Number 5 take, but is about on par whenever the number one film grosses over $100 million dollars…it merely leeches away all the audiences.  Finally, I want to quickly mention probably the biggest surprise of the weekend, the number eight film, an indy entitled October Baby about an abortion…or something.  Seriously, I’ve never heard of this movie.  Either way, I guess a good job is in order for this film.  It’s nice to see an indy succeed, no matter what kind of indy it might be.

Act of Valor

Here’s the chart:

1. The Hunger Games—$155,000,000

2. 21 Jump Street—$21,300,000

3. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax—$13,108,505

4. John Carter—$5,014,000

5. Act of Valor—$2,062,000

6. Project X—$1,950,000

7. A Thousand Words—$1,925,000

8. October Baby—$1,718,427

9. Safe House—$1,389,850

10. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island—$1,373,000


Well, that does it for this week of the Prognosis.  Don’t forget to check back next week when Snow White and Liam Neeson’s Facial Hair go toe to toe.  You won’t want to miss it!

-Matthew