‘Hunger Games’ Passing $250M Domestic For #1 Again, #2 ‘Wrath Of The Titans’ Can’t Beat Original, #3 ‘Mirror Mirror’ Disappoints

March 30-April 1 Weekend Actuals

1. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate) Week 2 [4,137 Theaters] PG13
Friday $18.7M, Saturday $24.7M, Sunday $15.2M, Weekend $58.6M (-62%), Cume $248.5M

2. Wrath Of The Titans 3D (Legendary/Warner) NEW [3,545 Theaters] PG13
Friday $12.3M, Saturday $12.7M, Sunday $8.4M, Weekend $33.5M

3. Mirror Mirror (Relativity) NEW [3,603 Theaters] PG
Friday $5.8M, Saturday $7.6M, Sunday $4.7M, Weekend $18.1M

4. 21 Jump Street (MGM/Sony) Week 3 [3,148 Theaters] R
Friday $4.6M, Saturday $6.3M, Sunday $4.0M, Weekend $14.8M (-28%), Cume $92.9M

5. Dr Seuss’ The Lorax 3D (Universal) Week 5 [3,264 Theaters] PG
Friday $2.1M, Saturday $3.5M, Sunday $2.2M, Weekend $7.8M (-41%), Cume $189.3M

6. John Carter 3D (Disney) Week 4 [2,397 Theaters] PG13
Friday $544K, Saturday $892K, Sunday $593K, Weekend $2.0M (-60%), Cume $66.2M

7. Salmon Fishing in Yemen (CBS) Week 4 [483 Theaters] PG13
Friday $345K, Saturday $592K, Sunday $336K, Weekend $1.3M (+81%), Cume $3.2M

8. Act Of Valor (Relativity) Week 6 [1,239 Theaters] R
Friday $291K, Saturday $445K, Sunday $266K Weekend $1.0M (-51%), Cume $67.7M

9. A Thousand Words (Dworks/Par) Week 4 [1,007 Theaters] PG13
Friday $241K, Saturday $428K, Sunday $233K, Weekend $903K, Cume $16.5M

10. Journey 2 (Warner Bros) Week 8 [908 Theaters] PG
Friday $215K, Saturday $361K, Sunday $234K, Weekend $810K, Cume $98.4M

SUNDAY AM, 8TH UPDATE: It’s another huge Wrath Of The Titans Box Officeweekend for the North American box office with $150M, or +25% from last year. Lionsgate’s humongous holdover The Hunger Games won the weekend domestically and nearly internationally again despite two new major releases opening against it. Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures’ 3D action fantasy sequel Wrath Of The Titans failed to come close to the original’s grosses, while Relativity Media’s Snow White comedy Mirror Mirror failed to lure families. Both received ‘B+’ CinemaScores from audiences even if critics were at best lukewarm. Meanwhile, we now know how low Disney’s $200M writeoff John Carter will go: it will be lucky to reach $70M domestic. Starting its 4th weekend in release, this disaster is already discounted at Valley Plaza 6 in Van Nuys for $2 before 6 PM and $3 after.

This weekend’s Top 5 films (rest of Top 10 below)

1. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate) Week 2 [4,137 Theaters] PG13-Rated
Friday $18.8M, Saturday $26.2M, Weekend $61.1M (-60%), Cume $251.0M

2. Wrath Of The Titans 3D (Legendary/Warner) NEW [3,545 Theaters] PG13-Rated
Friday $12.4M, Saturday $13M, Weekend $34.6M

3. Mirror Mirror (Relativity) NEW [3,603 Theaters] PG-Rated
Friday $5.8M, Saturday $7.9M, Weekend $19.3M

4. 21 Jump Street (MGM/Sony) Week 3 [3,148 Theaters] R-rated
Friday $4.6M, Saturday $6.2M, Weekend $14.8M, Cume $92.8M

5. Dr Seuss’ The Lorax 3D (Universal) Week 5 [3,264 Theaters] PG-rated
Friday $2.0M, Saturday $3.7M, Weekend $8.3M, Cume $189.8M

The Hunger Games passed $200M Friday and $250M by weekend’s end. Even more impressive is that the actioner is currently the #1 movie and #1 book and #1 album in America. (The studio just cut an online-only spot with those trifecta bragging rights.) Pic played in the same 4,137 locations this weekend but with a lower screen count because of the end to its limited one-week engagement on all IMAX screens. The film held extremely well during the week, with a record breaking Monday of $10.8M. Second wave promotion exploited this second weekend’s adult curiosity about the movie. Heck, even GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney went to see Hunger Games with his family. “From Presidential candidates to talk show hosts, it seemed everyone was talking about the film publicly,” studio boasts to me.

Though Wrath Of The Titans certainly looked better than 2010′s Clash Of The Titans whose retrofitted 3D was deemed sub-par, its critical reviews fared far worse — only 25% positive on Rotten Tomatoes. Its projected weekend gross (including $1M from 1,490 domestic midnight screenings) was in line with studio expectations. But that’s still far short of the original’s $61.2M opening weekend. Then again the original made 2/3s of its money overseas ($332M of the total $495M cume) and this sequel should, too, to justify its $150M bloated cost. The PG-13 pic released day and date as a worldwide event in 60 territories and on approximately 13,900 screens (9,766 3D and 175 IMAX) in all major markets with the exception of Japan. “We’re off to a great start, with $18M on Friday for a progressive cume to date of $25M internationally,” Warner Bros tells me. In Mexico and Brazil, for instance, Wrath Of The Titans was ranked a strong #1 ahead of The Hunger Games.

In the U.S. and Canada, actioner debuts in 3,545 locations with 2,900 3D locations, 4,400 3D screens, and 290 IMAX locations. As expected, there’s very strong male support both young and older but the sequel’s marketing around “Feel The Wrath” didn’t have the campy coolness quotient of the original’s “Release The Kraken” campaign featuring Liam Neeson. And Avatar‘s Sam Worthington has proven he isn’t a box office draw. (Remember, he failed to open Man On A Ledge.)

Warner Bros positioned Wrath Of The Titans to target younger and older males including ethnic audiences with “an aggressive approach that sold the intensity of the action and the spectacular creature battles, all with great visuals and compelling music,” an exec tells me. Clearly March as a whole, and this pre-Easter weekend in particular, is now as competitive as summer or holiday periods for sizable event films despite distractions like the NCAA Final Four. The studio’s marketing strategy relied on an aggressive TV schedule and online content combined with more compelling 3D. After Jonathan Liebesman replaced Louis Leterrier as director on the 2nd installment, the sequel was supposed to be shot in 3D. But then Liebesman announced that Wrath of the Titans would be converted rather than shot in 3D even though that had been a big bone of contention with fans of the original. To reduce skepticism, Liebesman reminded that the first film Clash Of The Titans had been shot and edited as a 2D film and then converted to 3D just a few weeks before release. Whereas Wrath was conceived in 3D from the start right through editing. Even the most contrary reviews say the film is much better-looking than the original thanks to Prime Focus World, which did the original 3D as well as the sequel’s. Reception to story was decidedly mixed. Screenplay credit went to Dan Mazeau and David Johnson who also received story credit with Greg Berlanti.

As for Mirror Mirror, its $85M cost was piggybacked by a very expensive full-frills TV ad campaign that didn’t justify its disappointing $19M domestic debut. That number was below even the studio’s lowball expectations. As usual, Relativity claims its actual exposure on the film was far less — “just under $30M” — after foreign pre-sales, Montreal tax incentives, and its Netflix deal. On the other hand, Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh is newly beholden to investors like savvy Ron Burkle who may not be as patient with razor-thin profit margins as Elliott Associates once was. One thing is certain: Mirror Mirror is the opposite of the “Hail Mary” blockbuster which Kavanaugh hoped it would be to dig Relativity out of its financial mess. I’m not sure how director Tarsem Singh justifies a career trajectory that starts out with visually arresting The Cell and The Fall, continues through Immortals, and ends up here. Or why star Julia Roberts banked her cold career comeback on this hot mess. What the movie does is audaciously play the Brothers Grimm story for lame laughs. It’s 180 degrees different from Universal’s much anticipated Snow White & The Huntsman adult swordfest releasing June 1st though the two projects were developed at the same time. But Mirror Mirror‘s target audience is kids ages 6-12 and their parents. Now the studio hopes that, with schools out next week and the week after for Easter vacation, its pic won’t be played out this weekend. Overseas, the film has already opened in a dozen territories and this weekend debuted day and date in a dozen more.

Marketing-wise, Relativity partnered with Bloomspot, a leader in the local offer space, to launch on March 24th a first-ever promotional screening program for the member base in 11 U.S. markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC. Relativity also initiated promotions in the top 50 markets. Key digital initiatives included Annoying Orange (You Tuber), Social Queen video, parent blogging, a Snow Spell featurette on ParentsConnect.com, integrated gaming expériences on top sites targeting children like Poptropica.com, Nick.com, GirlsGoGames.com, Webkinz.com, as well as mobile apps targeted to young girls. Relativity Music Group released the original motion picture soundtrack for Mirror Mirror on March 27th and included an original score by 8-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, along with two new versions of the reworked Nina Hart song “I Believe in Love” performed by the film’s Lily Collins (The Blind Side) that plays over the end credits. Credits on the screen story go to Melisa Wallack and the screenplay to Marc Klein and Jason Keller.

In other box office news, the CBS Films pickup, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, cracked the Top Ten for the first time while playing in just 483 locations. Studio stresses that the film performed much better than other current and recent platform expansions at this level. “The most interesting data point is that holdover theaters (124 existing locations) were down only 18% from last week. In fact, just like last weekend, several of the top twenty runs were actually up from the previous Friday.” CBS Films will keep rolling out the pic in the weeks ahead to see how long the Salmon can run…

Here is the rest of the Top Ten with numbers refining later Sunday morning: Read More »

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Al Jazeera Hires Former Endemol, Reed Midem Exec Paul Johnson

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 9:46pm PDT

Al Jazeera Media Network has appointed former Reed Midem and Endemol executive Paul Johnson as executive director marketing and distribution. The company said Johnson will oversee the expansion of Al Jazeera’s global footprint and brand, working closely with all … Read More »

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UPDATE: Tribune Stations Will Go Dark On DirecTV At Midnight

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 7:50pm PDT

UPDATE, 7:50 PM: Tribune confirms that its stations and WGN America will vanish from DirecTV at midnight in their local time zones. Tribune “simply cannot get fair compensation from DirecTV and we cannot allow DirecTV to continue taking advantage of us,” the company’s broadcasting president, Nils Larsen, says. Tribune adds that up to now DirecTV hasn’t paid a fee to carry the TV stations and says that it “is asking for an agreement that is similar to those that DirecTV already has in place with hundreds of other broadcasters and program providers.” Larsen notes that DirecTV subscribers can still watch the broadcast stations “for free in HD with a TV antenna or through an alternative pay-TV provider.” DirecTV says that having the stations go dark is ”the last thing we want to do but we have no choice.” It asked Tribune to allow the satellite company to “keep the channels up while we try and work this out, it’s the only right thing to do for the customers and we hope Tribune will give us the OK to do that.” Read More »

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Actress’ Suit Vs. IMDb To Proceed But Some Claims Dropped

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 4:03pm PDT

http://www.deadline.com/tag/imdb/The actress suing Amazon.com and IMDb.com for publishing her real age on the web retailer’s popular entertainment information web site has dismissed her allegations of fraud, invasion of privacy and request for $1 million in punitive damages, but allowed her case … Read More »

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Sirius XM Challenges Liberty Media Effort To Take “De Facto Control”

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 3:32pm PDT

The only thing riskier than being an enemy of Liberty Media’s John Malone is to be his friend — as Sirius XM’s Mel Karmazin is discovering. They developed a corporate bromance in 2009 when Malone rescued the satellite radio company … Read More »

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Lego’s ‘Avengers’ Vs. Marvel’s

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 2:35pm PDT

http://www.deadline.com/tag/marvels-the-avengers/
Lego has released its version of the poster for Marvel’s The Avengers. For convenient comparison we’ve also provided the movie version the studio released awhile back. When the movie opens May 4, Disney/Marvel and Lego will … Read More »

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RHI Renamed Sonar Entertainment With Stewart Till As CEO

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 1:11pm PDT

RHI Entertainment Inc. has rebranded as Sonar Entertainment Inc. and appointed Stewart Till CEO, board chairman Gabriel de Alba announced at MIPTV in Cannes. The company also unveiled a package of disaster-themed and other miniseries, regular series and and a quartet of two-hour TV movies. Following the departure of Robert Halmi Jr. last summer, Till had served as co-interim CEO with Mike Corrigan and David Salzman. Robert Halmi Sr. exited in February. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 11:05am PDT

This whimsical indie was inspired by a classified ad seeking “someone to go back in time with me” — Safety Not Guaranteed. The feature debut of director Colin Trevorrow and screenwriter Derek Connolly screened at Sundance and South by Southwest earlier this year. Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson … Read More »

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Chevy Chase In Feud With ‘Community’ Creator Dan Harmon

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 11:04am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE SUNDAY: Since I posted the story yesterday, several people working on the show have come forward to confirm Chase’s version of the events. One noted that the show indeed was “suffering through a ‘non-script day’” when Chase walked off. Another claimed that most of the cast and … Read More »

Comments 188

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Fringe’ Bounces Back, ’20/20′ Hits Two-Year High, ‘CSI:NY’ Returns

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 9:56am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

There are not that many cases when a 1.2 demo rating wold be a cause for celebration. This is one of them — last night Fox’s bubble sci-fi drama Fringe  posted a 1.2/4 in adults 18-49, shooting up 33% from … Read More »

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Warner Bros UK Opens Harry Potter Tour

By | Saturday March 31, 2012 @ 6:58am PDT

Now that Harry has hung up his Firebolt, Warner is looking to keep the multi-billion dollar franchise alive. Welcome to The Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making Of Harry Potter, a new attraction that opens today at its Leavesden studios in Watford, England. There, Muggles will get a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes magic of the films right where they were shot. As time wears on, however, it’s likely that interest in Potter will wane – but Warner says there’s a plan for that too.

When Warner Bros acquired film rights to JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, lore has it the author insisted on an all-British cast and that all films be shot in the UK. Ten years later, the highest-grossing film series in history has had a huge impact on the British economy – and on Warner Bros’ bottom line. In June 2010, London mayor Boris Johnson penned an editorial in The Telegraph decrying the fact that a Potter theme park was to open in Orlando rather than in Harry’s own backyard. He wrote: “This Potter business has legs. It will run and run, and we must be utterly mad, as a country, to leave it to the Americans to make money from a great British invention.”

Fast-forward 18 months and Johnson was waving a wand at Ollivander’s shop on the Potter tour’s Diagon Alley. A coincidence? Warner’s Sarah Roots, VP of the tour, tells me the idea of a film based attraction at the Leavesden studios has been in the pipeline for quite a few years and that Harry Potter has been such a part of the studio’s heritage, “it made sense to launch the attraction with Harry Potter.” The opening of the tour is timed to coincide with the start of Easter break for British school kids. Warner is eyeing up to 5,000 visitors per day on staggered tours that last about 3 hours. Roots says tickets for the first period have sold well and that first visitors are expected to be mostly UK residents with more overseas interest next year. As with all tourist destinations in the UK this summer, Warner is hoping for a residual Olympics effect. Read More »

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Keith Olbermann To Appear On Letterman

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 9:21pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After his abrupt exit from MSNBC last year, Keith Olbermann made his first TV appearance on CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman. He will do it again after his latest acrimonious departure, this time from Current TV. Olbermann will sit down with Letterman on Tuesday. During his previous visit, Olbermann called the offer to join Current TV “manna from heaven.” That probably won’t be the choice of words he will use about his now-ex-employer this time around. Last May, Letterman asked Olbermann about the nine employers he has left during his career and the state of the bridges he’s left behind. “Some people have said, I did not burn the bridges,” Olbermann said. “I have napalmed them. My argument was I did not burn the bridges, I burnt the rivers.” Ten months later, the only thing that has changed is the number of jilted employers, which has climbed to 10. Here is a video of last year’s chat:

Related: Keith Olbermann Fired From Current TV, Vows To Sue For “Improper” Termination Read More »

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Mike Jones To Write ‘Second Act’ For Fox Searchlight

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 7:06pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Mike Jones will write Second Act based on a story by Teddy Grennan. Alexander Payne, Jim Burke and Jim Taylor’s Ad Hominem will produce the project, which is being kept under wraps. David Greenbaum will oversee Second Read More »

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Dermot Mulroney Joins HBO’s ‘Enlightened’, Bobbi Kristina Cast In ‘For Better Or Worse’

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 6:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Dermot Mulroney has been tapped for a major recurring role on the upcoming second season of Mike White’s HBO series Enlightened. The single-camera comedy stars Laura Dern as Amy, a self-destructive woman who has a spiritual awakening and decides to … Read More »

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Philip Anschutz Still Wants LA Stadium: Bloomberg

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 5:49pm PDT

All this time the NFL still doesn’t have a football team in the major TV market of Los Angeles. Now billionaire entrepreneur Philip Anschutz hasn’t given up on his plans to build a football stadium in Downtown LA to lure an NFL team (or 2) back to town, according to Bloomberg. The prospects of his AEG Worldwide proceeding with the long-discussed Farmers Stadium seemed to dim Read More »

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New Mad Man Joins AMC Period Drama

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 5:41pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Ben Feldman (Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva) has quietly joined the cast of AMC’s hot drama series Mad Men for its current Season 5. Like everything related to Mad Man, Feldman’s character is shrouded in secrecy but I hear he is playing a … Read More »

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Yahoo Layoffs Coming Next Week: AllThingsD

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 5:33pm PDT

Yahoo LayoffsThe layoff of “what could be thousands of employees” would come ahead of an announcement the following week of a restructuring at Yahoo, according to the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D blog. The same blog … Read More »

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Patty Jenkins To Direct Second Season Finale Of AMC’s ‘The Killing’

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 5:08pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Patty Jenkins, who directed the pilot for AMC’s mystery drama The Killing, is back to helm the pivotal second season finale, which will resolve the two-season-long murder mystery that started in the pilot episode and will finally answer the … Read More »

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FX Developing Cop Drama Produced by Philip Seymour Hoffman

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 5:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

FX Inside Philip Seymour HoffmanFX has put in development Inside, a drama project from playwright-screenwriter Kyle Jarrow and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Ziff Cooper’s Town Prods. The semi-serialized cop drama follows a San Francisco homicide detective who discovers his real … Read More »

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