This is the fourth consecutive weekend that the film has placed first, making it the first release since James Cameron's Avatar to manage that feat. Since Friday, the much-discussed legitimate phenomenon earned an estimated $21.5 million, bringing its 24-day domestic total to $337.0 million. It's easily the biggest movie of the year so far, though that will doubtless change when summer arrives with heavy hitters that include superheroes avenging and dark knights rising.
While blockbusters on the monetary level of The Hunger Games often see a huge percentage of their grosses coming from overseas, the film's domestic total far outweighs its international haul so far. Still, the $194.0 million its brought in internationally is certainly nothing to sneeze at, particularly given that its not a globally familiar property, nor does it include any instantly-recognizable international movie stars. For the math-averse, the total global total stands at $531.0 million.
The film faced the most competition from a surprising source: The Three Stooges, Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly's longtime passion project which brings Larry, Moe, and Curly into the colorized modern age without diminishing their slapstick antics one iota. The film opened to an estimated $17.1 million from a huge 3,500 theaters.
That figure might be surprising to a lot of people, given reactions to the trailers and the general notion of an unironic presentation of Stoogian zaniness, but 20th Century Fox gave the film a big promotional push, and the PG-rated comedy capitalized on the need for a kid-friendly goofy comedy. The weekend total represents the third-biggest opening of the Farrelly Brothers' mutual career, behind Me, Myself & Irene and Shallow Hal.
Then, in third place, there's fellow newcomer The Cabin in the Woods, which languished unreleased for a few years due to MGM's financial insolvency. The directorial debut of Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard debuted to $14.8 million in estimated ticket sales. Unlike this week's other new releases, the horror-staire co-written by Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator and The Avengers director Joss Whedon has been tremendously well-reviewed.
But that could well be its commercial undoing. The film is an intelligent and funny deconstruction of horror movie tropes, not your standard issue slasher or torture fare. The marketing, which held back on spoiling the film's myriad secrets, created the impression that The Cabin in the Woods is more like the films it actually subverts, and audiences looking for a basic horror film apparently don't appreciate the film's cleverness, as it earned a not-too-good C CinemaScore, which averages out attendees reactions.
Finally for the new releases, there's Lockout, the sci-fi actioner from co-writer and producer Luc Besson, an action imprint unto himself. The film, which refits the Escape from New York idea to fit a tough son of a bitch infiltrating a rioting space-prison to save the President's daughter, opened in ninth place with an estimated $6.2 million. That's a lowball debut from a movie with Besson's imprimatur, lower than the likes of Taken, Columbiana, or From Paris With Love. Despite a charismatic action star performance from Guy Pearce, Lockout looks likely to fade pretty fast Stateside.
Without any further ado, here are the top ten films in America at the moment, according to studio estimates:
1. The Hunger Games $21.5 million $337.0 million
2. The Three Stooges $17.1 million New Release
3. The Cabin in the Woods $14.8 million New Release
4. Titanic (3D) $11.6 million $44.4 million
5. American Reunion $10.7 million $39.9 million
6. Mirror Mirror $7.0 million $49.4 million
7. Wrath of the Titans $6.9 million $71.2 million
8. 21 Jump Street $6.8 million $120.5 million
9. Lockout $6.2 million New Release
10. The Lorax $3.0 million $204.4 million
The coming Friday sees new releases such as The Lucky One, Think Like a Man, and the DisneyNature documentary Chimpanzee.