“Hunger Games” Tops Box Office for Third Straight Weekend

The “Hunger Games” was released three weeks ago, but that hasn’t stopped fans from checking out the movie in large numbers.

According to estimates, “Hunger Games” earned $33.5 million this past weekend, passing the $300 million mark, and beating out American Pie franchise movie “American Reunion” AND the 3D re-release of James Cameron’s “Titanic,” which each earned $21.5 million and $17.4 million respectively.

MTV News reported:

“The Hunger Games” ranked right behind “Avatar” in the all-time list of non-sequels to cross the $300 million mark in the shortest amount of time.

Its estimated $302.8 million in North American receipts is more than the final totals of most of the “Harry Potter” movies and all of the entries in the “Twilight” series. Box-office prognosticators have estimated that “Games,” based on the popular young adult novel, will eventually earn at least $350 million.

The fourth theatrically released “American Pie” movie, which followed 2003’s “American Wedding” and a string of direct-to-DVD “American Pie Presents” spinoffs, did poorly relative to other entries. The $21.5 million earned by “American Reunion” was much lower than the opening weekends for “American Pie 2” ($45.1 million) and “Wedding” ($33.4 million).

Only the original “Pie” earned a “fresh” rating on film-review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes; “Reunion” is the worst reviewed of the series. “There are almost no laughs, save what [Seann William] Scott valiantly squeezes out of Stifler’s antics,” wrote the Wrap’s Alonso Duralde. “The entire film is a mistake,” wrote the San Francisco Chronicle’s Amy Biancolli.

“American Reunion” did manage to land the highest Easter weekend opening for an R-rated film in several years and also collected an impressive amount overseas, where it opened in 28 countries. The film’s $19.3 million abroad was more than “American Wedding” made nine years ago.

“Titanic” is the second-highest-grossing film of all time, behind “Avatar.” Both, of course, were directed by James Cameron, who personally oversaw the 3-D conversion of the new theatrical re-release.

The opening weekend for “Titanic 3D” was lower than that of other recent 3-D re-releases, including “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” as well as Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Have you seen “The Hunger Games” yet? If so … what did you think?