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.”
If you grew up on a steady diet of action movies if your bones hardened every time a muscle-bound guy dove away from an explosion in slow motion if you hit puberty the first time you saw the hero of the hour bed his scantily clad damsel in distress then it’s impossible to resist the allure of a movie like The Expendables. It’s the superband version of an action movie. It was created by an action star its cast consists almost exclusively of action stars and the only reason it exists is to put a smile on the face of action fans. And invariably it will do just that.
The question is how wide one’s smile will be. The answer depends on how forgiving one is willing to be of The Expendables' faults and there are many. It’s a little slow-going at first the characters are very thinly defined some of the acting is spotty and on the production front Sylvester Stallone’s knack for action scenes is thrown under the bus by a ton of visual shortcuts (CGI blood being perhaps the most egregious) that belie the film’s obvious low budget. That said Stallone’s knack for gory ultraviolent action is indeed so strong his mind so tuned to the quirks and cliches that make action movies beloved despite their faults that The Expendables kicks more than enough ass by the time credits roll to be worthwhile beyond just the novelty of seeing Stallone Statham Li Lundgren Austin Rourke Couture Crews Willis and Schwarzenegger all under one explosion-filled roof.
That was actually my biggest concern at the offset of the film that the only ace up star/co-writer/director Stallone’s ripped sleeve was his cast but the best thing about The Expendables is that it could have worked with a roster composed entirely of no-name actors. It’s fantastic to see some of these action movie titans go head to head (particularly so in the case of Lundgren) but the headliners surprisingly neither make nor break the movie. The script which involves a gang of mercenaries overthrowing a South American dictator who has become a puppet of a rogue CIA agent isn’t particularly strong but no one goes to an action movie expecting it to be a David Mamet-scripted battle of wits. The story just needs a firm enough framework to allow for enough scenarios for our heroes to punch kick stab shoot and explode an army of bad guys. To that end Expendables could have been given to a cast and crew of newcomers and still stomped in tons of face.
What actually hurts the film the most is that it is filled with veterans and promises of a return to old-school action an era where the only thing bigger than the heroes’ muscles was the body count left in his wake. The only thing wrong with the body count in The Expendables is that it takes too long to begin piling up whereas the rest of the movie feels too small too amateur hour considering its cast of pros. Nu Image the chief studio financing Stallone’s grand endeavor is known primarily for making low-budget straight-to-video movies; sadly The Expendables isn’t going to shake that image any time soon.
There is a disappointing amount of poorly-rendered CGI blood and flames throughout the film which completely goes against the “do it old-school” mindset one expects from all involved. It’s hardly unwatchable but there are times where the look of the film brings to mind the Syfy channel and as any brave soul who has ever wandered into a Syfy Original Movie knows all too well that is rarely ever a good thing.
However even with lackluster production values The Expendables still manages to be a wild throat-slashing elbow-dropping grenade-throwing trigger-pulling and limb-dismembering good time. The last forty-five minutes alone are packed with more carnage than most action movies today can dream of delivering throughout their entire run time. The slow beginning gives way to a glorious orgy of death that generates a body count that would warrant UN intervention were it to have occurred in the real world. And since fictional armies getting absolutely obliterated by a fictional team of the manliest men on the planet is all anyone really requires from The Expendables it’s easy to turn your back on the few obstacles that stand in the way of that holy goal.
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).
Paul (Greg Kinnear) and Jessie Duncan (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) are a sweet couple dedicated to being good parents to their young son Adam (Cameron Bright). But the day after his eighth birthday Adam is killed when a car hits him. At the funeral Paul and Jessie are approached by Dr. Richard Wells (Robert De Niro) an old college professor of Jessie's who claims he may have the solution to their sorrow: He offers them a chance to clone Adam. Whatever they decide Paul and Jessie must decide quickly since Dr. Wells informs them that Adam's cells will only be viable for another 72 hours. Their judgment clouded by grief the couple takes Dr. Wells up on his offer and agrees to break off all ties with friends and family and move to a secluded town in Vermont where the Godsend Institute is located. The procedure works and Paul Jessie and their son are a perfect family again--until Adam passes the age that the original Adam died. The cloned boy becomes plagued with visions of a boy named Zachery committing horrendous crimes and eventually begins to act them out. Paul and Jessie suspect Dr. Wells is keeping something from them about Adam--and what they discover turns their world upside down.
Kinnear (Stuck on You) is well cast as the unassuming dad and husband Paul whose main motivation for going along with the procedure is to see his wife happy again. But although his character has the most substance Kinnear really isn't given much else to do here besides demand answers from everyone. As his wife Jessie Romijn-Stamos (The Punisher) gets to cry a lot and look really distressed throughout most of the film but the scope of her character pretty much stops there. The problem is that while the characters are well defined on paper--Jessie for example is a professional photographer and Paul is a high school teacher--the only side the audience gets to see of them is that of the tormented doting parents. The veteran De Niro (Analyze That) however adds some oomph to a lineup of otherwise unremarkable performances. His portrayal of Dr. Wells is perfectly balanced: A brilliant yet jittery doctor struggling with his own amorality. But Wells takes a turn in the end that is too hard to swallow going from respected researcher to candelabra-toting madman. Young Cameron Bright (The Butterfly Effect) wonderfully portrays the two Adams giving the character(s) just enough continuity without losing their individuality.
Director Nick Hamm's visuals are very overt in Godsend: Scenes before Adam's death are bathed in a soft warm palette while the years afterward in the Vermont countryside are brighter and cooler. Adam's skewed visions meanwhile are infused with contrast and graininess. But it's a pity Hamm couldn't permeate Mark Bomback's script with the same level of intensity. The story touches on the ethical moral and legal issues of cloning and does it in a simple way--through Paul and Jessie's grief--so the audience is able to relate to the subject. But what happens to the cloned boy once he passes the lifespan of the original Adam is the film's most terrifying aspect and rather than deal with it intelligently the filmmaker opted to make Dr. Wells into a genius-gone-mad and the boy a less threatening and unexciting prototype of Damien from the 1976 Omen. It would have been far more interesting to explore the consequences of the cloned Adam finding out about his true identity for example or take it a step further and explore whether the couple would be willing to go through the procedure again if the first one had failed after several years. Now this would have made Godsend more frightening at a Raelian-type level.