After a record breaking weekend in North America expectations for The Hunger Games went up, so a $59.25 million debut from 67 countries around the world probably seems a tad bit disappointing. But believe me when I say that it’s not, and you’ll see why right after the break.
It’s not a mystery that movies tend to be more frontloaded in North America, opening huge then falling really fast. Now there are more than a few countries around the world that mimic that box office pattern, UK would be a good example. But ultimately The Hunger Games is simply more popular on the other side of the ocean, thus explaining that huge opening. Internationally, $59.25 million is actually a great start, even more so considering there are still a few major markets left to open (like Japan, South Korea, Spain and Italy). Worldwide, The Hunger Games has made $222.6 million so far and with a potential international total in the $250-350 million range, plus $350-400 million in North America, it could finish north of $700 million when all is said and done. It’s definitely a terrific way to start a new franchise, one that will most likely grow internationally with each new installment. So while it’s not yet on the level of Harry Potter, it could eventually get there.
John Carter continues to play well internationally, this time in 2nd with $22.2 million for a total of $172.1 million. Worldwide the film sits at $234.9 million, an impressive gross but not nearly enough to cover the reported $250 million production budget. Unfortunately John Carter will end up as one of the biggest box office flops of the year.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is 3rd with $8.1 million. This movie that I’ve just heard about stars Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy among others. What’s strange is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has been slowly rolling in theaters right under my nose for quite some time now, standing at $33.1 million so far. In North America it opens on May 4th.
In 4th place we have one of my new favorite films of the year, the French drama Intouchables. With another $7.7 million weekend, it now has accumulated $291.7 million and, most impressive, only about $166 million came from France. That really is a testament to just how globally appealing Intouchables is. It will be interesting to see how the film performs in North America come May 25th, when it opens in limited release.