By releasing in relatively quiet March, which usually has room for one big blockbuster, The Hunger Games has been able to plow over the competition and keep the number one spot for three weeks in a row. Now the futuristic kids-fighting-to-the-death picture has a chance at winning for the fourth week in a row--as long as it isn't topped by The Three Stooges. The Hunger Games is on track to earn around $18 million, which is just above the estimates for the two wide releases this weekend.
Larry, Curly, and Moe bring their classic shtick to the modern age in The Three Stooges (3,477 theatres). It's hard to top the original, iconic comedic trio, and critic Maitland McDonagh feels the gags "come off as awkward imitations rather than organic reinterpretations." The Farrelly Brothers, who directed, clearly adore the comedians (Have you noticed that Jim Carrey sports Moe's haircut in the directors' hit Dumb and Dumber?) but this is a "misbegotten attempt to revive the anarchic slapstick antics of the trio," McDonagh declares. Still, if any film will beat Hunger Games, it's The Three Stooges.
The Cabin in the Woods (2,811 theatres) is one of the rare films that was shelved for three years and is actually really good, not really bad. Horror films rarely collect raves from critics, but this Joss Whedon-produced picture is currently tracking 92% positive on Rotten Tomatoes. However, genre-bending films like Kick-Ass have a record of delighting fanboys while alienating the masses. Some predict the horror flick will top out at $8-9 million, while other prognosticators think it will earn twice as much. A "wider audience deserves to find The Cabin in the Woods," McDonagh declares. But will they come?
A "so-so action outing from the Luc Besson factory," Lockout (2,308 theatres) "will have trouble attracting anyone besides die-hard action fans," according to critic Daniel Eagan. That may explain why the movie's weekend estimate is hovering somewhere around $7 million. Although it melds together a couple of cool concepts--A prison in space! A kidnapped President's daughter!--"concept tops execution."
The Weinstein Co. finally capitulated and made a few edits to their documentary Bully, though they buried that information deep into their press release. The PG-13-rated film will expand to 55 locations this week. If this documentary can pick up on even a fraction of the publicity devoted to the topic, it will do quite well. Much-lauded Indonesian action flick The Raid: Redemption continues its expansion, moving into over 650 theatres.
On Monday we'll return to see if comedy, horror, or The Hunger Games ruled over the box office.