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‘Hunger Games’ May Top ‘Harry Potter’: Chart of the Day

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March 30 (Bloomberg) -- “The Hunger Games,” with the third-biggest opening weekend for a movie with $152.5 million sales, is showing staying power that may allow it to pass the leader, the final “Harry Potter,” in its theatrical run.

The Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. picture will probably show a revenue decline of 54 percent or smaller this weekend, followed by a 36 percent drop the next week, estimates Monica Dicenso, an analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. THE CHART OF THE DAY shows the pace is similar to 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” which had the second-biggest opening of all time and generated $533.3 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters.

Time Warner Inc.’s “The Dark Knight” and “The Hunger Games,” in which teenagers fight to the death on live television, have mature themes that attract a broad mix of teens and adults, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of researcher Hollywood.com Box Office. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” dropped 72 percent its second weekend because the audience was narrower, he said.

“The Hunger Games” earned $29.2 million for Santa Monica, California-based Lions Gate this week on March 26, 27 and 28 according to Box Office Mojo. The film accounts for 71 percent of advance sales on Fandango, said Harry Medved, a spokesman for the online ticket seller.

Dicenso estimates “The Hunger Games” will generate $350 million at the domestic box office, with a chance to go as high as $390 million. That would surpass the $381 million that the final “Harry Potter” film brought for New York-based Time Warner.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

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

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