March 30, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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THE HUNGER GAMES ended its first week of release with a $189.9M total that was the 7th highest in history.  That result was exceeded only by the blockbuster summer sequels The Dark Knight, Transformers:  Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Man’s Chest, Spider-Man 2, and Star Wars:  Revenge of the Sith.  It’s the highest week ever for a movie that didn’t open in May-July, and the highest non-sequel by a factor of 25% (over the original Spider-Man).

On Thursday Hunger Games grossed $8.2M, and while that 1.5% increase from Wednesday underperformed the rest of the Top 10 (which increased 2-19%), it wasn’t unusual for a movie with a mega-opening.  Dark Knight, Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Dead Man’s Chest, in fact, fell 8-13% on their first Thursdays.
The 2d Friday for Hunger Games will inevitably be sharply down from its opening day, because apart from the usual frontloading that accompanies blockbusters, that initial Friday included $19.7M in Thursday midnight grosses.  Dark Knight‘s 65% drop was excellent in this context:  Twilight:  New Moon fell 75%, and Deathly Hallows Part 2 toppled a colossal 84% from its opening day.  (On the basis of East Coast matinees only, Deadline is predicting a 73% drop to $18M for Friday and a 60% weekend decline to $60M, but those numbers are too premature to mean much at this point.)  Without the extra midnight numbers burdening Saturday and Sunday, the decline should stabilize over the weekend.
In terms of what a first-week gross indicates for total US boxoffice, the Top 10 opening weeks made up 45-63% of their movies’ ultimate totals.  Translated to Hunger Games‘ $189.9M, that would translate into a spread of $301M-422M, still a wide expanse of possibilities that could leave it anywhere from #9-#38 on the all-time list.
Stay with SHOWBUZZDAILY all weekend for updated boxoffice and analysis!


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."