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Weekend Box Office: Stooges Take #2 To "Games"

April 15, 2012

The Hunger Games cannot be stopped! The pic is still the top film 4 weeks in a row….

The Three Stooges n’yuked its way into 2nd while the horror genre bending “The Cabin in the Woods” moved into 3rd…How did summer tentpole Battleship do opening early overseas?

Pamela McClintock

Moe, Larry & Curly earned $17.1 million in their big-screen revival, not enough to beat powerhouse The Hunger Games but easily coming in ahead of horror pic Cabin in the Woods.

Lionsgate’s Hunger Games grossed $21.5 million, becoming the first film since James Cameron’s Avatar to place at No. 1 for four consecutive weekends at the domestic box office and putting its total gross at $337.1 million. It has earned $531.1 globally, though its foreign run has been softer (similar to the first Twilight).

Cabin in the Woods, also from Lionsgate, opened third at the domestic box office with $14.9 million.

Both Cabin and the Farrelly Brothers’ The Three Stooges turned in good performances, though it’s too early to say whether Stooges will launch a franchise for 20th Century Fox, which spent a modest $35 million to produce the slapstick comedy.

Stooges succeeded in pleasing its core audience. The film drew a B- CinemaScore overall but a promising A from those under the age of 18. The film is playing especially well among boys, with those under 18 making up 30 percent of Friday’s audience. Stooges is fueled by males of all ages, who made up 59 percent of the audience.

The movie rocks with those that it was made for,” Fox executive vp distribution Chris Aronson said. “There is a whole new generation of Stooge fans now.

Stooges, featuring Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso as Moe, Larry and Curly, also stars Jane Lynch and Larry David.

Cabin in the Woods was fully financed by MGM for $45 million before distribution rights were acquired by Lionsgate. The R-rated film earned a C CinemaScore, though Lionsgate said its exit polls were noticeably stronger.

Males fueled Cabin in the Woods, making up 57 percent of the audinece, while 65 percent were over age 25. The movie saw a 3 percent jump from Friday to Saturday, unusual for a horror film and reflecting good word-of-mouth.

We’re very pleased with the outcome,” said Lionsgate president of distribution Richie Fay, noting the film’s strong reviews.

Cabin in the Woods was co-written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon and directed by Goddard, with Whedon producing. Rated R, the film stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth (who also stars in Whedon’s upcoming The Avengers), Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams and Richard Jenkins.

The third new film of the weekend was EuropaCorp’s sci-fi action pic Lockout, headlining Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace. The pic opened to roughly $6.3 million, putting it at No. 9.

Open Road Films is distributing Lockout for fellow indie distributor FilmDistrict. James Mather and Stephen St. Leger directed from a script they wrote with Europa’s Luc Besson.

The biggest gross of the weekend will come overseas, where Universal and Hasbro’s Battleship is rolling out five weeks ahead of its May 18 domestic launch. The pic, earning $25 million in its first three days (in some territories, movies open midweek), is projected to gross $58 million through Sunday from 26 markets.

At $58 million, Battleship is pacing 75 percent ahead of John Carter’s opening and 78 percent of Wrath of the Titans and has a strong shot at ultimately grossing north of $300 million internationally.

Battleship, headlining Taylor Kitsch, is a powerhouse in Asia, posting an opening-day gross of $2.8 million in South Korea — the best ever for an English-language nonsequel and the third-biggest of all time behind Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Shrek the Third.

In Europe, Battleship is doing solid business, grossing $3.7 million in the U.K., including previews. It posted an opening-day gross of $730,000 in Spain, the best showing of the year, and nabbed the biggest opening day of the year in Germany ($900,000).

Universal and Hasbro, which spent north of $200 million to produce the tentpole, took the unprecedented step of going out so early internationally to give Battleship room before May tentpoles The Avengers and Men in Black 3 make their global assaults. Avengers opens May 4 domestically but begins its foreign debut in two weeks.

At the specialty box office, several titles made major expansions, including Sony Classics Pictures’ The Raid Redemption. Coming in No. 11, the pic grossed $1 million frm 881 locations in North America for a cume of $2.6 million in its fourth weekend.

The Weinstein Co.’s Bully — now assigned a PG-13 rating — expanded from six theaters to 158, grossing $534,000 for a location average of $3,380 and cume of $650,319 in its third weekend.

Bully, coming in No. 15, is generating strong group sales following the lowered rating as schools, church groups and similar organizations make plans to attend, and the Weinstein Co. is hoping the documentary will have good legs.

The Metropolitan’s The Met: Live in HD continued on Saturday with the live transmission of La Traviata onto more than 850 screens in North America, generating $2.4 million in sales. An additional 114,000 people watched the live broadcast on 650 screens in 41 foreign markets.

Domestic Weekend Box Office, April 13-April 15

1. The Hunger Games, 4/3,916, Lionsgate, $21.5 million, $337.1 million.

2. The Three Stooges, 1/3,477, Fox, $17.1 million.

3. Cabin in the Woods, 1/2,811, Lionsgate/MGM, $14.9 million.

4. Titanic 3D, 2/2,697, Paramount/Fox, $11.6 million, $44.5 million.

5. American Reunion, 2/3,203, Universal, $10.6 million, $39.9 million.

6. Mirror Mirror, 3/3,206, Relativity, $7 million, $49.5 million.

7. Wrath of the Titans, 3/3,102, Warners/Legendary, $6.9 million, $71.3 million.

8. 21 Jump Street, 5/2,735, Sony/MGM, $6.8million, $120.6 million.

9. Lockout, 1/2,308, Open Road/FilmDistrict, $6.3 million.

10. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, 7/2,122, Universal/Illumination, $3 million, $204.5 million.

Next: Zac Efron is The Lucky One getting all snuggley with Taylor Schilling; Ladies learn to Think Like A Man; Disneynature presents the story of Oscar the Chimpanzee

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