Three in a row: "Hunger Games" leads box office
By Lisa Richwine
(Reuters) - Movie sensation "The Hunger Games" survived fresh competition from the "Titanic" and the gross-out "American Pie" gang to notch its third domestic box office win over the weekend.
"Hunger Games" took in $33.5 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday and lifted its domestic sales through three weekends to $302.8 million, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
The Easter weekend receipts for "Hunger Games" topped "American Reunion," a sequel to one of film's biggest comedy franchises, and a 3D remake of "Titanic" timed for the anniversary of the ship's sinking. It was the third straight box office win for "Hunger Games."
International ticket sales since its opening reached $157.1 million through Sunday, bringing the film's combined domestic and overseas receipts to $460 million.
The Lions Gate Entertainment Corp movie about teens forced to fight to the death stormed into theaters on March 23 with a staggering domestic take of $152.5 million, the third-biggest weekend debut and the highest for a non-sequel.
Fan fever, plus a lack of big competitors at multiplexes, has kept "Hunger Games" hot, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office division of Hollywood.com.
"Great word of mouth, coupled with a release date that has given it a pretty open playing field, has allowed the film to effectively dominate the marketplace," he said.
The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, the skilled archer and heroine of the post-apocalyptic story based on Suzanne Collins' best-selling young adult novel. Continued...