The Hunger Games would be more exciting – and it’d help this comparison tremendously – if new combatants entered the arena every couple of hours or so. You know, just to keep the battle-weary tributes on their toes. If that were the case, there would be some very interesting one-on-one or even two-on-one battles like the one we’re about to see this weekend. The Hunger Games sent an earthquake through the record books last weekend, so this new batch of potential moneymakers might have some sweat beads forming on their respective foreheads. Nonetheless, with the sequel to Clash of the Titans and new telling of the Snow White story starring Julia Roberts, the newbies have a better shot than most would in their situation. In the end, though, it’ll be all for naught. The Hunger Games is going to win big again, but the scraps it hands down to #2 and #3 on the chart will be sizable ones to say the least. Let’s check out just how sizable in this weeks’ Reject Report.
Wrath of the Titans
- Clash of the Titans, that 3-D, updated remake of the nostalgia-laden classic, debuted only a few years ago to $61.2m. Naturally, a sequel was instantly given the green light, and here we have Wrath, a little angrier than a clash but not quite as breathtaking. Semantics aside, you have to look at Clash of the Titans‘ longevity to get a good picture of how well a sequel might do. The first film didn’t do spectacular, and ended up dropping 56.5% in its first weekend. While it ended its run with $493.2m worldwide – $330m of that came from foreign markets – it didn’t have amazing clout in the back half of its US release. That doesn’t bode well Wrath’s opening weekend here.
- Sam Worthington isn’t going to help matters. Even though he’s the star of highest grossing film of all time, his star power hasn’t gone the way of Leonardo DiCaprio as some thought it would. Worthington in the lead of a poorly received movie won’t make it a success, so his clout won’t bump Wrath of the Titans’ weekend take at all. Just ask Man On a Ledge and its $8m opening weekend how that worked out for them.
- It’s still a blockbuster movie hitting here in the early weeks of April. While the Summer movie season hasn’t officially shifted up a month, it’s almost an untitled time period for motion picture success we’re in now. Wrath of the Titans has a considerable weekend ahead of it, even if it won’t be matching the initial success of its predecessor to say nothing of being able to contend with The Hunger Games here in its second weekend.
Weekend projection: $49.3m (#2 on the chart)
- Mirror Mirror has the bigger opening of the two, new films this weekend, but even that won’t help get it to second place. It has Julia Roberts in its corner, and 10 years ago that would have meant something. At least it would have meant something much larger than what it means today. She can open a film. Look at the $23.1m Eat Pray Love debuted with in 2010, but she can’t be the only factor driving a film any more. If something is as poorly received or looks as awful as Larry Crowne, neither Roberts nor Tom Hanks will have the power to get it above a low double digits opening.
- This film, however, is still a blockbuster, fantasy, epic despite how juvenile and lame it looks. That’ll be enough to get it upwards of $25-30m. Mirror Mirror will be coming in on the low end of that, though, unless the positive word of mouth becomes so overpowering people won’t be able to help themselves but see it. So far that word of mouth hasn’t come, so the low end of that range it is.
Weekend projection: $25.6m (#3 on the chart)
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
- And now we’ll be discussing the film with the worst title of the year. Despite that fact, one that, believe it or not, will cost the film some money here or there, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen ended up with a $12,550 per theater average its first weekend out. Three weeks later it’s expanding to nearly 500 screens. Even with a $4000 per theater average, something that isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility, it’ll be making $2m this weekend and end up somewhere on the chart.
- It won’t be making that much per theater, though. It will be more like $2500 per theater. That still isn’t bad considering the slow roll-out for the CBS Films…film, and that number will also be enough to get it somewhere in the top 10.
- The Hunger Games - $77.7m (-49%)
- Wrath of the Titans – $49.3m NEW
- Mirror Mirror – $25.6m NEW
- 21 Jump Street – $11.8m (-41.8%)
- Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax – $7.8m (-39.9%)
- John Carter – $1.7m (-65%)
- Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – $1.2m EXPANDING TO 483 screens
- Act of Valor – $1m (-47.4%)
- A Thousand Words – $1m (-45.6%)
- Project X – $.9m (-49.4%)
It’s no $201.2m, but the $178m we’re looking at this weekend isn’t something to roll your eyes at, particularly when you consider we’re not in the Summer months yet. The Aprils of history seem to have a harder time making serious money than the Marches of history, and this crossover weekend could be bigger than any of the April weekends we’ve seen before. Serious factors come up when considering this, though. These projected numbers aren’t so far out of comprehension that there isn’t any way these films could live up to it, but they’re still on the high end of estimations.
The Hunger Games, the battle-tested warrior that it is, could end up with a much smaller drop than what’s estimated above. It wouldn’t surprise anyone considering the strong word of mouth and overall buzz the whole thing has gotten in just the last week. Never mind the years of build to finally getting a big screen adaptation of the bestselling novel. Fans will once again be out in droves wanting another go at the games. As with last weekend, the only certainty is that The Hunger Games will be the victor. The only question is how large exactly those spoils are going to be.
We’ll be back early next week to go over the weekend numbers.