The Hunger Games led the box office in March with $233.3 million.
April 4, 2012
With The Hunger Games and Dr. Seuss' The Lorax both significantly exceeding expectations, March 2012 easily claimed the all-time March record with over $940 million. That's an incredible 38 percent improvement over the same period last year, and it's also up 13 percent on the previous record holder (March 2010 with $832 million). Even when adjusting for inflation, March 2012 sold the second-highest number of tickets behind March 2002.
The Hunger Games was the highest-grossing movie in March with $233.3 million after just nine days in theaters. The movie accounted for around a quarter of the month's overall tally, and it ranks second all-time for March earnings behind Alice in Wonderland, which made $299.5 million in its first 27 days. Based on its currently trajectory, though, The Hunger Games should ultimately beat Alice in Wonderland's $334.2 million total to become the top movie to ever open in March.
In a not-so-distant second place, The Lorax earned an impressive $187.2 million. The movie is currently on its way to over $200 million, which will make it the first animated movie to reach that mark since 2010's Tangled. 21 Jump Street took third place with $88.9 million, and will become star Channing Tatum's second $100 million grosser over a two month period of time. Project X was also fairly successful with $53.2 million on a very modest found-footage budget.
March also had a number of disappointments, none more obvious than Disney's mega-budget epic John Carter. Based off a century-old sci-fi series and green lit with the intention of becoming the first in a multi-film franchise, John Carter grossed just $65.6 million through its first 23 days in theaters. It has fared much better overseas ($188.3 million through April 1), but that barely softened the blow to Disney's bottom line.
Aside from John Carter, there were a handful of other underperformers. Wrath of the Titans earned just $25 million over its first two days in theaters, which is a little over half of what predecessor Clash of the Titans made in its opening. A Thousand Words continued Eddie Murphy's cold-streak with a terrible $16.3 million, and Silent House was even worse with just $12.3 million. Finally, Mirror Mirror grossed $13.4 million through its first two days, which isn't an altogether impressive tally.
3D ticket sales accounted for roughly $170 million for the month, or 18 percent of total box office. That's about on par with February (17 percent), and it seems like 15-20 percent of ticket sales is going to be the new norm for 3D (though that could go higher in blockbuster-heavy Summer months).