Box Office Madness: How Much Will The Hunger Games Make?

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Update #2: After Week #3, featuring a week in which THG raked in an additional $33.1 Million, the movie stands at $302 Million.  At this point, fans of legitimate film can rejoice, The Hunger Games has now out-grossed ALL FOUR of the Twilight saga films, as the highest grossing Twilight film was Eclipse, which made just over $300 Million.

Update: On its first day in the box office, The Hunger Games took in $68.2 Million, including $19.7 Million during midnight showings.  The midnight showings gross is the highest for a non-sequel movie ever, while the opening day profits rank fifth all time.  It is no long shot that The Hunger Games could gross upwards of $120-$150 Million by the end of the weekend.  Once the official numbers are up, we will post and let you know where The Hunger Games stands with all-time grossing weekends.

Monty here.  Expect our review for The Hunger Games to be up tomorrow, but for right now an important question has to be asked; is it possible and feasible for a film hitting the silver screen in late March to get a massive hunk out of the Box Office?  Even better, can a film in 2D over-gross every 3D film so far this year?  If you understand the anatomy of complete fan addicts, its easy to see that The Hunger Games is going to be big and its going to stick around for a while.

Sending out The Hunger Games in March was an absolutely brilliant idea from the people at Lionsgate.  Next week is, in my opinion the unofficial start of the summer season as Wrath of the Titans starts the endless surge of piss-poor films with fancy visuals, leading up to The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, after which things start to slow down.  21 Jump Street lost 25.4 percent of its viewership from Tuesday to Wednesday and should be going down further from this point forth.  The Lorax has been out for almost a month and is also fading fast.  John Carter is an unmitigated disaster that might result in Walt Disney being reanimated just so he can go on a rampage.  Simply put, this is the right time and right place for this movie to come out, and it will essentially have 3-5 weeks with its key demographic before a sizeable competitor even hits theaters.

Walking the luxurious streets of Brockport last evening, I saw at 10:30 p.m. a line forming outside of the local theater, The Strand, in anticipation for this film.  Now, in a 25-mile radius of the campus I can think of four theaters that would be playing new features, three of which would undoubtedly be playing The Hunger Games on multiple screens.  One of which I am certain is playing on IMAX.  The fact that these fans are at The Strand at 10:30 truly gave me an accurate depiction of how big this movie is going to be and how it might save the box office this year.

The box office has been dipping between drops of 4-8 percent per week throughout the year like clockwork.  The lack of a major hit has hit the wallets of studio executives hard, since now half-hearted re-makes and shotty post-conversion 3D films are becoming somewhat of the norm.  What the year of 2012 needs is a good amount of fan service.  In 2012, fans can expect The Hunger Games, The Avengers, Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises all of which should do very well for themselves.  Then the Twilight series thankfully reaches its climax, but will still make criminal amounts of money at the box office.

To guess at how much The Hunger Games is going to gross during its run in the box office, fans can use the Twilight saga as a key of sorts.  The four films have averaged $103.8 million their first weekend in the box ffice and nearly three times that in overall box office revenue.  The only difference between Twilight and The Hunger Games is that The Hunger Games appeals to a much wider audience.  With the action, the positive ratings (87% on the Tomatometer) that compliment the swift fan following, Lionsgate pictures may have easily their top grossing film ever, that of which may happen in the first two weeks of release.

Lionsgates’ biggest box office gross ever was a meager $119.1 Million for Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore’s conspiracy film.  Needless to say, The Hunger Games is going to easily top that.  Look for The Hunger Games to gross between $120 and $130 Million during its first weekend in theaters and gross a whopping $350 Million during its theatrical run.  I for one am excited to see this film, as someone who has not read the books it will be exciting to experience a fresh and original story.  Look for our review tonight.

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