'The Hunger Games': 'Twilight'-Like Drop-Off Rate

The Hunger Games Peeta Josh HutchersonAnother consequence of The Hunger Games' lower-than-expected weekend box office performance was that its drop-off rate was slightly higher than originally thought. At close to 62 percent, The Hunger Games drop was about the same as that of Catherine Hardwicke / Robert Pattinson / Kristen Stewart's original Twilight movie in fall 2008 – even though Ross' film version of Suzanne Collins' novel received much better reviews.

For comparison's sake, among non-sequels: James Cameron / Sam Worthington's Avatar was down a minuscule 2 percent on its second weekend. Sam Raimi / Tobey Maguire / Kirsten Dunst's original Spider-Man was down 38 percent. Chris Columbus / Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was down 36 percent. Michael Bay / Shia LaBeouf / Megan Fox's Transformers was down 47.5 percent. Tim Burton / Mia Wasikowska's Alice in Wonderland was down 46 percent.

When it comes to sequels, David Yates' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was down 72 percent on its second weekend, while Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was down 61 percent and Transformers: Dark of the Moon was down 55 percent. Raimi's Spider-Man 2 was down 49 percent, while Spider-Man 3 was down 61.5 percent. Gore Verbinski / Johnny Depp / Orlando Bloom / Keira Knightley's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was down 54 percent. And after a record-shattering first weekend, Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale's The Dark Knight was down only 52.5 percent.

As can be seen, both The Hunger Games and Twilight performed more like "sequels" than like "originals." Why? It's hard to say, though what The Hunger Games and Twilight have in common is that both films feature a female protagonist (and two suitors) and both are based on popular fantasy/adventure bestsellers geared to young adults.

Director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) co-wrote The Hunger Games' screenplay with author Suzanne Collins and Breach / State of Play / Captain Phillips screenwriter Billy Ray. The futuristic actioner stars X-Men: First Class / Devil You Know's Jennifer Lawrence (a Best Actress Oscar nominee for Debra Granik's low-budget drama Winter's Bone), The Expendables 2 / AWOL / The Last Song's Liam Hemsworth, and Red Dawn / Carmel / Journey 2: The Mysterious Island's Josh Hutcherson.

The Hunger Games cast also includes Movie 43 / What to Expect When You're Expecting / People Like Us' Elizabeth Banks, Seven Psychopaths / The People vs. Larry Flynt's Woody Harrelson, Margin Call / The Devil Wears Prada / The Lovely Bones' Stanley Tucci, Murder by Decree / Animal House / Outbreak' Donald Sutherland, The Greims / The Tomb / Ghost Rider's Wes Bentley, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising / Race to Witch Mountain's Alexander Ludwig, Salvation Boulevard / The Healer's Isabelle Fuhrman, Sitting Babies / Running Wild's Jack Quaid, and Snow White and the Huntsman / Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / The Girl's Toby Jones.

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The Hunger Games Katniss Jennifer LawrenceFour movies have reached $250 million (not adjusted for inflation) at the domestic box office in ten days or less. The Hunger Games isn't one of them.

Although The Hunger Games easily topped the North American box office this weekend, Gary Ross' futuristic adventure tale grossed $58.55 million – or about $2.5 million less than studio estimates published yesterday. (This is the second weekend in a row that studio estimates for The Hunger Games are considerably inflated.) As a result of its "underperformance," The Hunger Games failed to reach the $250 million milestone. That should happen some time today, however, on the film's eleventh day out.

For the record, the four movies that have reached the $250 million milestone (once again, ignoring inflation) are The Dark Knight, Deathly Hallows 2, Revenge of the Fallen, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

At the international box office, The Hunger Games is lagging way behind its North American popularity. The film scored an estimated $34.8 million (down 41 percent) this weekend, thus losing the box office crown to Jonathan Liebesman's Wrath of the Titans. The fantasy adventure starring Avatar's Sam Worthington pulled in an estimated $78 million – more than twice as much as the $33.45 million it earned domestically. The Hunger Games' international total is an estimated $113.9 million, or less than half its domestic cume. The film's worldwide total is $362.38 million.

Director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) co-wrote The Hunger Games' screenplay with author Suzanne Collins and Breach / State of Play / Captain Phillips screenwriter Billy Ray. The futuristic actioner stars X-Men: First Class / Devil You Know's Jennifer Lawrence (a Best Actress Oscar nominee for Debra Granik's low-budget drama Winter's Bone), The Expendables 2 / AWOL / The Last Song's Liam Hemsworth, and Red Dawn / Carmel / The Kids Are All Right's Josh Hutcherson.

The Hunger Games cast also includes Movie 43 / What to Expect When You're Expecting / People Like Us' Elizabeth Banks, Seven Psychopaths / Zombieland's Woody Harrelson, Margin Call / Easy A / The Lovely Bones' Stanley Tucci, JFK / Eye of the Needle / Max Dugan Returns' Donald Sutherland, American Beauty / Loveless / The Time Being's Wes Bentley, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising / Race to Witch Mountain's Alexander Ludwig, Salvation Boulevard / The Healer's Isabelle Fuhrman, Sitting Babies / Running Wild's Jack Quaid, and Snow White and the Huntsman / Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / The Girl's Toby Jones.

Box office information: Box Office Mojo

Jennifer Lawrence / The Hunger Games photo: Murray Close / Lionsgate.

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