April 14, 2012



First at your boxoffice and first in your hearts:  Katniss Everdeen.
THE HUNGER GAMES:  The juggernaut of The Hunger Games (Lionsgate/Summit) rolls on, with what should be a $20M+ weekend that should bring it to $335M by its 24th day in release.  That puts it ahead of all the Twilights and every Harry Potter except Deathly Hallows Part 2 (it’s running about $8M behind Hallows 2 at this point).   By this time next week, Hunger Games should be one of the 20 highest grossing movies (in the US) of all time.  Of course, they do need to find a director for the next one…

OPENINGSTHE THREE STOOGES (20th) opened well with $5.6M, and it seems to be playing as a kids movie (strong matinees yesterday) rather than a boomer nostalgia piece (not as well when the adults came out on Friday night).  That could mean a solid Saturday, and perhaps an $18-19M weekend.  THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (Lionsgate) was only $100K behind Stooges on Friday, but is likely to run out of steam much faster, due to its genre and the games it plays with said genre, ending up with less than a $15M weekend.  Producer/co-writer Joss Whedon will likely be able to console himself in just a few weeks with the gargantuan numbers The Avengers will be pulling in.  LOCKOUT (FilmDistrict/Open Road) felt like a direct-to-video picture that had somehow stumbled into theatres, and audiences largely ignored it–it’ll struggle to get much beyond $6M for the weekend.
HOLDOVERSAMERICAN REUNION (Universal) isn’t finding much of an audience beyond the initial curiosity-seekers, and is unlikely to keep the franchise going in theatres.  TITANIC 3D (Paramount), though, is holding much better.  WRATH OF THE TITANS (Warners) is going to need every Euro of its overseas gross to pay for its production and marketing costs, because the US run will be lucky to break even.  MIRROR MIRROR (Relativity) is dropping more slowly, but from such a low start that it’s still going to end up in the $65M range (on a cost of $85M).  Despite losing about 20% of its theatres, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN (CBS) is pleasing its small audience, with a barely perceptible per-theatre drop from last week.  JOURNEY 2 (Warners) will go over $100M today, and although it’s in a dwindling number of theatres, it might even match its predecessor’s $101.7M total before it’s done.
LIMITED RELEASES:  A flood of extremely low-budget openings hit a few theatres yesterday (WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED:  ON THE 7TH DAY, BLUE LIKE JAZZ, DETENTION, THE LADY, etc), and only Loosed (which caters to a frontloaded church-going audience) seems likely to even hit a $5K per-theatre gross.  BULLY (Weinstein Company), in its new PG-13 form, expanded to 158 theatres, but as is often the case, it found that MPAA ratings controversies don’t lead to much boxoffice outside of NY/LA, and will probably do only around $3500 per theatre.  
NEXT WEEKEND:  THE LUCKY ONE (Warners), working the same soapy beat as The Vow, is likely to finally end Hunger Games’ weekend winning streak.  Also arriving is the annual “aww, nature” documentary from Disney, CHIMPANZEES, and the comedy THINK LIKE A MAN (Screen Gems/Sony).  In limited release, Sony Classics has DARLING COMPANION, which with its roster of writer/director Lawrence Kasdan and a cast headed by Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline and Dianne Wiest, would have been a major release, once upon a time.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."