Mar 26, 2012

Hunger Games Box Office Sales

Hunger Games Box Office Sales

"The Hunger Games," the action thriller from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF), collected $155 million in weekend sales in the U.S. and Canada, a record opening for the company and for the month of March.

The film, about teenagers battling to the death on live television, opened in 4,137 theaters, Box-Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The sales total marked the third-biggest weekend ever, behind 2011's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" and 2008's "The Dark Knight."

The movie crushed even the most optimistic expectations. Entering the weekend, analysts estimated "The Hunger Games" would earn $125 million to $135 million, having raised earlier forecasts as it gained buzz. Based on the first day's receipts, Paul Dergarabedian, president of's box-office division, on March 24 projected $140 million for the weekend.

"This is a great opening weekend for the film," said Paul Sweeney, an analyst for Bloomberg Industries, in an e-mail. "It continues the trend of very strong box-office results so far this year."

A marketing blitz associated with the movie included a collector's edition of People magazine, an eight-city mall tour this month by the stars, and ticket giveaways on websites from Access Hollywood to At least 6,000 weekend shows sold out in advance, according to ticket sellers Fandango and More than 450 showings of "Hunger Games" are already sold out for this week, said.
Suzanne Collins's Novel

The picture is based on Suzanne Collins's 2008 novel of the same name set in a post-apocalyptic North America. There are more than 11 million copies of the book in print, according to its publisher, Scholastic Corp. (SCHL)

The film features Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a girl from an impoverished region who volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the competition. "The Hunger Games" cost about $80 million to make, according to Lions Gate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer.

Positive anticipation on the film, along with the January acquisition of Summit Entertainment, has lifted Lions Gate shares by 75 percent this year. Lions Gate, based in Vancouver and run from Santa Monica, California, fell 0.1 percent to $14.53 in March 23 trading in New York.

Prior to the weekend opening, the independent film and TV studio's top-performing domestic release was "Fahrenheit 9/11" from Michael Moore, which collected $119.1 million in the U.S. and Canada during its entire run in theaters.
Disney's รข€˜John Carter'

Among the weekend's returning films, "21 Jump Street," a spoof of the 1980s TV series that led the U.S. and Canadian box office last weekend, fell to second with $21.3 million in ticket sales for Sony Corp.'s Columbia Pictures, said.

"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," the No. 1 film for the two weekends before that, fell to third place with $13.1 million in receipts for Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)'s Universal Pictures.

Walt Disney Co. (DIS)'s big-budget film "John Carter" collected $5 million in its third weekend. Disney announced last week that the film would lose an estimated $200 million and lead to a second-quarter operating loss of as much as $120 million at the company's film unit.

"Act of Valor," from Relativity Media LLC, had $2.1 million in sales for fifth place and has earned $65.9 million in five weeks.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 91 percent to $206.9 million from the year-earlier period, said. For the year-to-date, box-office sales have risen 19 percent to $2.41 billion while attendance is up 22 percent.

        Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
1 THE HUNGER GAMES    $155.0   4,137  $37,467   --   $155.0   1
2 21 JUMP STREET        21.3   3,121    6,825   -41    71.1   2
3 DR. SEUSS' THE LORAX  13.1   3,677    3,565   -42   177.3   4
4 JOHN CARTER            5.0   3,212    1,561   -63    62.3   3
5 ACT OF VALOR           2.1   2,219      929   -45    65.9   5
6 PROJECT X              1.95  2,065      944   -52    51.8   4
7 A THOUSAND WORDS       1.93  1,787    1,077   -47    14.9   3
8 OCTOBER BABY           1.7     390    4,406   --      1.7   1
9 SAFE HOUSE             1.39  1,330    1,045   -49   122.6   7
10 JOURNEY 2             1.37  1,340    1,025   -43    97.2   7
11 CASA DE MI PADRE      1.1     475    2,316   -52     3.9   2
12 THIS MEANS WAR        1.0   1,188      842   -53    52.3   6

Top 12 Films Grosses:

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
    $206.9        $108.6        +91

Year-to-date Revenue:

     2012          2011
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
    $2,414.5      $2,024.4      +19

Year-to-date Attendance:        22%