Given an abundance of viable alternatives—the relentlessly clever horror deconstruction The Cabin In The Woods, the better-than-anyone-had-any-right-to-expect comedy The Three Stooges, and zero-gravity excitement of Space Jail—America considered its options and decided, “Eh, fuck it, let’s go see The Hunger Games again.” As Ray Subers at Box Office Mojo suggests, the primary reason The Hunger Games won for a remarkable fourth straight week (with $21.5 million) is the split along gender lines. While the newcomers all appealed to a mostly male audience, Katniss and friends again won the women. It may take a Chimpanzee to unite our fractured moviegoing nation by cheer force of adorability. (Or, more likely, that Nicholas Sparks thing featuring Zac Efron’s Don Johnson look will drive the wedge further). Of the newcomers, The Three Stooges and The Cabin In The Woods didn’t perform too badly all things considered: The former took second with $17.1 million against a $30 million budget and the latter earned $14.85 million and gave The Hunger Games a decent challenge in per screen average. As for Lockout, it’s hard to put a shine on a $6.25 million ninth-place finish, but considering the cost of constructing a prison outside of the Earth’s atmosphere and paying even the group discount for space tourists on Russian rocket ships, a $20 million budget is miraculously frugal.
In limited release, it was a rough weekend for nearly all concerned. The Oscar-nominated French-Canadian film Monsieur Lazhar performed least embarrassingly, enjoying a decent $6,300 per screen average on 19 screens. It was tough business for the rest: The Christian-themed Blue Like Jazz wasn’t sufficiently ham-handed in its moralizing to win the busloads of parishioners that have come out for Courageous or Fireproof. Only $2,066 per screen on 136 screens is going to be Hell on its bottom line. But it was a bonanza compared to the football drama Touchback ($1,500 per screen) and the irritatingly titled/plotted Krysten Ritter comedy L!fe Happens ($1,369 per screen). Ritter learned a tough lesson: Never replace a letter with punctuation in a title, unless that punctuation is a dollar $ign.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.