Box office preview: 'American Reunion' and 'Titanic 3D' attempt to overthrow 'The Hunger Games'
Welcome back, ’90s. Opening this weekend are two nostalgia trips from the era of Seinfeld, grunge music, pogs, and Nintendo 64: the American Pie fourquel American Reunion, and the 3-D re-release of the 1997 blockbuster Titanic. Only one of these movies features Billy Zane dismissing the artistic talents of Pablo Picasso.
But while both films should perform moderately well this weekend, my money’s on The Hunger Games to ultimately win its third weekend in a row, if only by a hair. Here are my predictions for this Easter weekend:
1. The Hunger Games: $30 million
Katniss and company fell 62 percent last weekend, but that was coming off of the third-largest opening weekend ever. The sci-fi survival thriller, which has so far grossed a staggering $262.9 million in 13 days, should hold up a bit better this weekend, especially since many kids and adults will have Good Friday off. Expect a decline that’s around 50 percent, bringing The Hunger Games‘ three-week tally to just under $300 million.
2. American Reunion: $29.5 million
The three American Pie movies (thou shall not speak of the four straight-to-DVD installments) opened to an average of $32.4 million, and it’s very possible that American Reunion could reach that mark, too. But I’m thinking the R-rated sequel will fall just a tad short. For one thing, it’s been nine years since the last Pie flick, 2003’s American Wedding, and it can be challenging for a series to bridge that long of a gap (Exhibit A: Scream 4). And I just don’t feel like the marketing has been firing on all cylinders. It’s nice to see that the entire gang is back, and that’ll be a draw to some extent. But the movie itself (and its advertising) needs to deliver plenty of laughs. If the film’s mixed reviews are to be believed, American Reunion doesn’t really close the deal.
Still, this is the only comedy game in town besides 21 Jump Street, which is now entering its fourth week in theaters. I would not be surprised if American Reunion wound up stopping The Hunger Games‘ box-office reign.
3. Titanic 3D: $22 million
Earlier this week, I would have predicted that this 3-D reissue of James Cameron’s epic romance would earn at least $25 million, or possibly $30 million, over the three-day weekend. But the film debuted to $4.4 million on Wednesday, which is a good but not stunning start. Thus, something closer to $20 million seems more reasonable now.
As I argued earlier today, that kind of figure would still be considered a victory for the movie, which was converted to three dimensions to the tune of $18 million. It’d fall short of The Lion King 3D‘s debut of $30.2 million, but would match Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace 3D‘s $22.5 million opening. And Titanic 3D, on account of it being an approximately infinity times more beloved film than The Phantom Menace, should hold up better in the coming weeks.
4. Wrath of the Titans: $14.5 million
In 2010, Clash of the Titans fell 56.5 percent its second weekend. Like father, like son.
5. Mirror Mirror: $11 million
The year’s first of two Snow White pictures, this one starring Julia Roberts as the Queen, debuted to a ho-hum $18.1 million last weekend. Luckily, this holiday weekend should be fairly kind to Mirror Mirror, as neither American Reunion nor Titanic 3D will steal away much of the PG movie’s family audience. Figure a 40 percent drop.