Saturday, May 18, 2024

Box Office: “Catching Fire” Ablaze With $296.5 Mil In 10 Days, $573 Mil Worldwide


What a weekend for “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” A $74 million weekend in the US brought its total to $296.5 domestic in just 10 days. Including the US, worldwide “Catching Fire” has $573 million. Here’s a funny idea: may be now Lions Gate will peel off a couple million from that extraordinary success and re-release George Tillman Jr’s “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” its highly praised only other current release. Imagine the good press! Just a thought…

The bulldozing effect of “Catching Fire” masks the reality of another new release, “Homefront,” written and produced by Sylvester Stallone, with Jason Statham starring and featuring the unlikely presences of James Franco and Winona Ryder. The widely panned movie took in just less than $7 million. Good night, and good luck.

Elsewhere, awards season can’t come fast enough for a trio of potential Oscar nominees. “12 Years a Slave,” “Nebraska,” and “All is Lost” need the publicity buzz generated this by the respected New York Film Critics Circle and the faux award entity National Board of Review.

The big art house success of the weekend: “Philomena” starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Everyone loves “Philomena.”

I’m still guessing the latter group will go for “Gravity” in a big way since it has all their ingredients for success including Warner Bros. and George Clooney. Plus, it’s easy to understand. “12 Years a Slave” seems more NYFCC than NBR, which mostly ignored “Precious” and “Dreamgirls” when they were around.

NBR also gives lots of honorary awards so big stars come to their event and studios pay for tables. If Robert Redford doesn’t win Best Actor, they’ll give him a Special Achievement thing. Same for “Gravity” director Alfonso Cuaron. The NBR will also find some way to get praise to “August Osage County” because Clooney produced it.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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