News

'Hunger Games' Tops Average April

by Ray Subers
The Hunger Games
 

 
May 1, 2012

After the overall box office set records in February and March, business slowed down considerably in April. At around $721 million, it was down nine percent from last April's record $793 million, and it was also a bit off from 2010's $753 million. April 2012 did see higher revenue than every other April on record, though it probably didn't crack the Top 10 in ticket sales. None of the month's new releases made much of a dent, so the fact that the box office didn't take a bigger hit was due mostly to The Hunger Games's incredible ongoing performance.

Even after making over $230 million in March, The Hunger Games dominated April box office with $139.4 million. It held first place for the first two weekends before dropping down to third place for the last two frames (it even remained ahead of three out of four newcomers on its sixth weekend). The box office sensation has now made $372.7 million, which makes the highest-grossing movie so far in 2012 by a large margin.

Think Like a Man was the top movie among April releases, and was also without a doubt the most successful of these movies. Through just 11 days, the ensemble romantic comedy has earned $61.7 million, and it has remarkably managed to take first place for each of its first two weekends. Assuming it remains a viable alternative for the date night crowd in the face of The Avengers, Think Like a Man should wind up close to $90 million by the end of its run.

Titanic 3D and American Reunion looked like the two strongest contenders going in to the month, but neither came close to reaching their potential. Titanic 3D has so far made $56.4 million, which does make it the second-highest-grossing 3D re-release ever behind The Lion King ($94.2 million), but that's a very mediocre result considering Titanic earned an unprecedented $600.8 million in its original run. American Reunion was even worse—audiences clearly didn't want to spend any more time with these characters, and the sequel only mustered $53.7 million through its first 25 days in theaters. The movie probably won't reach $60 million, which is a far cry from the series standard of earning at least $100 million.

Wrath of the Titans rounds out the Top Five for April, though it did wind up ahead of American Reunion with $55.7 million. To date, the sequel has earned $80.7 million, or just over half of its predecessor's $154.4 million through the same point.

While Think Like a Man was the only hit to come out of April 2012, there were a few solid performers as well. The Lucky One got up to $40.1 million through just 11 days, and will become one of the highest-grossing Nicholas Sparks adaptations before the end of its run. The Three Stooges did a decent $37.1 million, though with the strength of that brand it probably should have wound up higher than that. The Cabin in the Woods scared up $35.2 million, which is a solid tally for a movie that sat on the shelf for years thanks to MGM's bankruptcy woes. Finally, Chimpanzee's $19.3 million only ranks behind Earth among Disneynature outings through the same time period.

The only certifiable bomb so far from April is Lockout with $13.4 million, though it wasn't a very ambitious movie to begin with. The final weekend provided plenty of potential candidates as well, though. Through four days, The Pirates! Band of Misfits led the way with a meager $11.7 million, while Nick Stoller-Jason Segel-Judd Apatow flick The Five-Year Engagement only wrangled $11.4 million. Jason Statham actioner Safe ($8.5 million) and gothic thriller The Raven were non-factors at $8.5 million and $7.9 million, respectively.

At roughly $3.31 billion, year-to-date domestic box office is up 14.7 percent from the same period last year. It continues to lag 2.6 percent behind the first four months of 2010, though that gap should close in the next month or two (2010 had a comparatively weak Summer). Among studios, Universal is leading the way with around $505 million, though Sony isn't far behind with over $501 million. Thanks to the John Carter debacle, Disney is the big loser so far with under $207 million, though The Avengers should help it climb the studio chart quickly in the next few weeks.

Related Stories
•
March 2012 Easily Sets Record
• 'The Vow,' 'Safe House' Lead Record-Breaking February
• January 2012 Improves on Atrocious Start to 2011
• Sequels, 3D Can't Save 2011
• November Box Office Down Slightly
• Box Office Slows in October
• 'Lion King' Leads Record-Breaking September
• August Box Office Rises and Falls
• July Breaks Box Office Record
• June Sees Box Office Dip
• May Posts Record Gross
• April Sees Box Office Rebound

Related Charts
•
April Calendar Grosses
• 2012 Grosses (2012-only releases)
• Year-to-Date Comparison



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