“The Hunger Games” remained the No. 1 movie in North America for the third weekend in a row, beating Universal's new comedy “American Reunion” and clobbering the 3D re-release of “Titanic.”
In its third weekend of release, Lionsgate's PG-13 “The Hunger Games” grossed $33.5 million. The R-rated “American Reunion,” the latest in Universal’s successful “American Pie” franchise, opened to a respectable $21.5 million. And the 3D rerelease of “Titanic,” the PG-13 blockbuster first released in 1997, took $17.4 million.
The weekend pushed "The Hunger Games" over the $300 million mark domestically. The movie, still showing at 4,137 domestic locations, now has grossed $302.8 million. Lionsgate said the film added another $25.f million overseas this week, raising its international total to $157.1 million and its overall global take to $460 million.
Although "American Reunion" fell short of some observers' expectations, its $21.5 million was in line with Universal's pre-release estimates.
"As audiences find out how much fun this is, it will play off," Nikki Rocco, Universal's head of distribution, told TheWrap Sunday morning.
And she noted that the movie had a strong $19.3 million international opening.
"American Reunion," made for about $50 million, opened at 3,192 domestic locations and in 28 international territories.
It received a "B+" grade from the polling firm Cinemascore. Its audience was pretty balanced — 51 percent male and 49 percent female. It skewed slightly older, with people 25 and over making up 61 percent of the audience.
"American Reunion" is the fourth of the "American Pie" movies — the eighth, including direct-to-DVD titles. The most recent big-screen "American Pie" film was the 2003 "American Wedding."
Meanwhile, a 3D rerelease of "Titanic" splashed back to movie theaters on April 4. The movie, released domestically by Paramount and internationally by Fox, received an "A" Cinemascore — "A+" among women.
"Titanic's" moviegoers were pretty evenly divided by age — 51 percent of the audience was younger than 25 and 49 percent was 25 and older. Its appeal was strongest to women, however: 60 percent of the audience was female.
Over the five days, "Titanic" took $2 million at IMAX locations. Although the movie played on only 79 of those large screens — just shy of 3 percent of the 2,674 locations showing "Titanic" — IMAX made up 8 percent of the film's domestic take. IMAX and other large-format screens accounted for 14 percent of the movie's domestic gross.
The five-day per-screen average at IMAX theaters was $25,000 — almost unheard-of for a rerelease.
It cost about $18 million to convert "Titanic" to 3D.
Until the 2010 "Avatar," "Titanic" had the highest box-office gross of any movie, with $1.9 billion worldwide and nearly $600.8 million domestically.
At the indie box office, "Bully," the documentary from the Weinstein Co., did a solid $74,786 in its second weekend in release.
It increased by one location, to six screens in Los Angeles, New York and, now, Toronto.
The movie, which sparked controversy after the MPAA rated it R — more than 500,000 people signed an online petition asking the MPAA to change the rating to a PG-13 — has always been rated PG in Canada.
In Toronto, it took about $18,000.
Since the controversy, the Weinstein Co. has recut the movie, removing a few words and getting a PG-13 rating domestically.
Erik Lomis, the Weinstein Co. distribution chief, told TheWrap Sunday morning that he is expanding the movie from three to 55 markets next week, and to around 100 on April 20.
"We're getting a lot of requests from smaller markets," Lomis said.
And now that the movie has a PG-13 rating, he said he expects even more people will see it.
"The rating makes it more accessible," he said. "We know it plays very well to teen-agers, and that the message resonates with them. So now that they have the opportunity to go, I'm hoping they show up."
Next weekend, Lionsgate's horror-comedy "The Cabin in the Woods," FilmDistrict's "Lockout" and Fox's "The Three Stooges" open.