Lionsgate’s much-anticipated big screen adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel “The Hunger Games” shatters expectations and delivers the third best opening weekend of all time (and the best ever opening for a non-sequel) with a mind blowing $155 million! Earning $68 million on Friday (including $19.735M in midnight screenings), $51 million on Saturday and an estimated $36 million on Sunday, the film has made its way into the pantheon of big movie debuts. IMAX delivers once again with $10.6 million in 268 locations and impressively $40,000 per screen (and that’s one screen per location!). The PG-13 rated film about a dystopian future where teenagers are pitted against each other in a televised fight to the death has captured the imagination of audiences and the results were truly impressive this weekend. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns are to be credited with giving their distribution and marketing teams the freedom to mount a flawless blockbuster release of the film.
"The Hunger Games" international highlights provided by Lionsgate are as follows:
The film grossed and impressive $59.25M and is projected to be the No. 1 title in virtually every single market.
Highlights were English-speaking markets, especially top territory Australia where it had a breakout performance of $9.69M, comparable to many franchise first films such as Harry Potter, Star Wars Episode 1 and Transformers. (New Zealand contributed an excellent additional $1.27M).The UK also performed very strongly with $7.49M, despite unseasonably beautiful Spring weather in No. Europe.
Other over-performers were Russia with an excellent $6.5M, and Scandinavia markets combined totaled $3.7M.
Additional top markets were Germany with $3.9M, France $3.75M, and early estimates from Mexico $3.59M and Brazil $2.6M.
Asian markets also posted very strong numbers:
Philippines: $1.71M (which has also done huge numbers on the Twilight franchise)
Hong Kong: $709k
UAE ($656k) and the Gulf region also impressive with almost $1M combined.
Sony’s R-rated action comedy “21 Jump Street” had a much stronger-than-expected debut last weekend and had a solid second weekend of $21.3 million despite the 500 pound gorilla at the top of the box office chart. Starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, the film has been performing well mid week and will finish out the weekend with around $71 million in total bail money.
Universal’s “Dr. Seuss' The Lorax” has been a winner since its debut over the first weekend in March. The film had a massive $70.2 million opening weekend and has continued to be the number one PG-rated family film choice having earned over $160 million to date in North America. In this its fourth weekend of release, a $13.1 million gross pushes it impressively past the $177 million mark.
Disney’s big budget sci-fi adventure “John Carter” entered the weekend with North American revenues of almost $60 million and grabbed another $5 million in this, its third weekend of release. The film has pulled in $62.3 million to date in North America and $234.4 million globally.
Relativity Media’s “Act of Valor” came in fifth with $2.062 million and broke the $65 million mark as it continues to rake in the bucks and has impressively been in the top five for five weeks in a row. Warner Bros.’ R-rated comedy “Project X” crossed the $50 million mark earning $1.95 million in sixth place.
Year-to-date box office continues to astound with revenues running a whopping 19.27% ahead of 2011 at this point.
Weekend Box Office (Estimates)
Movie Weekend Gross Total to Date
1 The Hunger Games (PG13) $155.0M $155.0M
2 21 Jump Street (R) $21.3M $71.0M
3 Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (PG) $13.1M $177.3M
4 John Carter (PG13) $5.0M $62.3M
5 Act of Valor (R) $2.1M $65.94M
The Madea Goes to Jail star has previously voiced his desire to follow in Oprah Winfrey's footsteps and launch his own network, and now he's landed the perfect opportunity to develop the idea with film executives.
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer says, "Tyler is one of those rare resources that one could launch a channel with. We have a lot of options if we choose to go down that path. He is a rare piece of talent that can bring an audience anywhere."
Perry already has a history with Lionsgate bosses - they have previously distributed his Madea film franchise and they worked together on the 2009 Oscar-nominated film Precious, which he produced.
Good news for all the Tyler Perry fans out there (where are you guys?). The filmmaker has just extended his theatrical and home entertainment distribution deal with Lionsgate, ensuring that you'll see a slew of Madea movies in the years to come. Perry and the mini-major have Madea's Big Happy Family coming up next month, and though the prolific multi-hyphenate will retreat from his comfort zone as he takes on I, Alex Cross for Summit Entertainment and director Rob Cohen, you can be sure that there's more collaborations between the studio and its primary star.
“Together, Lionsgate and I have built the ideal filmmaker/studio relationship, and I’m thrilled that it will be continuing,” said Perry, in a statement. “We share an entrepreneurial spirit and have a great business rapport. But more importantly, Lionsgate has been incredibly affirming of my relationship with my audience — I’ve always had the artistic freedom to speak what I want, how I want, and when I want through my films.” Great business rapport, indeed. Lionsgate has distributed all of his films since 2005, a partnership that has resulted in over $520 million in domestic box office.
Additionally, the studio has sold more than 40 million DVD and digital copies of his films, television shows and stage plays, making today's obviously lucrative deal all the more logical. “Tyler Perry is one of the most powerful and unique entertainment brands in the world today, with a fan base that is virtually unrivaled in its loyalty and passion,” said Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer, in a statement. “Lionsgate and Tyler have grown together for many years, and we look forward to pushing the envelopes of our businesses together for many years to come. Tyler is a remarkable creative force, and it is a privilege to support his efforts to continue to enlarge his audience and extend his creative reach.”
The movie was released in June (10) and only managed to recoup just over the $75 million (£50 million) producers spent making the movie.
And after announcing that Lionsgate - who distributed the film - lost a staggering $64.1 million (£42.7 million) during the first quarter, CEO Jon Feltheimer has singled out Killers for the fall in revenue.
In a statement, he says, "Our first quarter was affected by marketing costs for our three wide releases, timing of television deliveries and the underperformance of our theatrical release Killers."
But Feltheimer is optimistic Sylvester Stallone's highly-anticipated action movie The Expendables can help boost profits.
He adds, "With our upcoming theatrical slate, beginning with this Friday's opening of The Expendables, and the continued strength of our television, library and channel businesses, we remain poised to achieve our full year financial targets."
The company's revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2011 was $326.6 million (£217.7 million), which is a decline of 14 per cent on the same time last year (09).