‘Hunger Games’ Leads Box Office Again With $61 Million

Photographer: Murray Close/Lionsgate via Bloomberg

Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in ``The Hunger Games." The film is playing across the U.S. Close

Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in ``The Hunger Games." The film is playing across the U.S.

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Photographer: Murray Close/Lionsgate via Bloomberg

Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in ``The Hunger Games." The film is playing across the U.S.

“The Hunger Games” was the top film for a second weekend in the U.S. and Canada, taking in $58.6 million in ticket sales for distributor Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF)

The movie, about teenagers forced to fight to the death on live television, has taken in $248.5 million since it opened on March 23, making it the year’s top-grossing film. “The Wrath of the Titans,” from Warner Bros., debuted in second place with $33.5 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

Demand for “The Hunger Games” has sustained a 23 percent increase in movie attendance this year and a 20 percent rise in ticket sales. The film, based on the Suzanne Collins novel, follows hits including Universal Pictures’ “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” and Sony Corp. (6758)’s “The Vow.” Sales have risen every weekend except one from the year-earlier period.

“The quality of films is exponentially better this year,” said Jeff Bock, a box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations Co. in Los Angeles, in a telephone interview. “Studios have done really a good job marketing their films using different social media networks to appeal to very specific demographics.”

“The Hunger Games,” set in a post-apocalyptic North America, recorded the third-best opening ever last weekend with $152.5 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada.

‘Mirror Mirror’

Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) stars as Katniss Everdeen, a girl from an impoverished region who volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the annual competition. “The Hunger Games” cost about $80 million to make, according to Lions Gate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer.

“The Wrath of the Titans,” a sequel to 2010’s “The Clash of the Titans,” features Sam Worthington as the part-god Perseus, who must rescue his father, Zeus, from the underworld. Liam Neeson co-stars as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes plays Hades. “The Clash of the Titans” took in $493.2 million worldwide.

“Mirror Mirror,” a tongue-in-cheek take on the story of Snow White, opened third with $18.1 million in receipts. The film from Relativity Media stars Julia Roberts as the evil queen and Lily Collins, the daughter of rock ‘n’ roll singer Phil Collins, as Snow White.

‘21 Jump Street’

“Unfortunately, they opened in the wake of ‘The Hunger Games’ huge debut,” Bock said. “Even their combined grosses weren’t as high as the second weekend gross for ‘The Hunger Games.”

Among the weekend’s returning films, “21 Jump Street,” a spoof of the 1980s TV show, fell to fourth from second with $14.8 million in ticket sales for Sony’s Columbia Pictures.

“Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” dropped to fifth from third with $7.8 million in receipts for Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s Universal Pictures, and has generated $189.3 million since March 2.

Weinstein Co.’s “Bully,” a documentary about kids who are tormented by classmates, opened in five theaters in Los Angeles and New York, taking in $116,472. The studio released the film without an rating from the Motion Picture Association of America after the group’s independent board of parents assigned it an “R” for language.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 23 percent to $140.4 million from the year-earlier period, Hollywood.com said. For the year-to-date, box-office sales have risen 20 percent to $2.62 billion while attendance is up 23 percent. The amounts below are based on tickets sales for March 30, 31 and yesterday.


                      Rev.             Avg./    Pct. Total
   Movie             (mln)  Theaters  Theater   Chg. (mln)  Wks
================================================================
1 HUNGER GAMES       $58.6    4,137  $14,153    -62  $248.5   2
2 WRATH OF TITANS     33.5    3,545    9,438     --    33.5   1
3 MIRROR MIRROR       18.1    3,603    5,032     --    18.1   1
4 21 JUMP STREET      14.8    3,148    4,711    -28    92.9   3
5 THE LORAX            7.8    3,264    2,385    -41   189.3   5
6 JOHN CARTER          2.0    2,397      847    -60    66.2   4
7 SALMON FISHING       1.3      483    2,635     81     3.2   4
8 ACT OF VALOR         1.0    1,239      809    -51    67.7   6
9 A THOUSAND WORDS     0.9    1,007      896    -54    16.5   4
10 MYSTERIOUS Island   0.8      908      892    -40    98.5   8
11 PROJECT X           0.8      903      894    -58    53.4   5
12 SAFE HOUSE          0.8      729    1,070    -44    123.9  8


Top 12 Films Grosses


   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $140.4        $114.0       +23

Year-to-date Revenue


     2012          2011
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $2,623        $2,184       +20

Year-to-date Attendance:      +23%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Lu Wang in New York at lwang8@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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