We all know that The Hunger Games has the potential to be a huge hit at the box office when it comes out in just over three months(!). How big is up in the air though. Movies.com brings together the opinions of several experts in the field to see what they have to say.
Cinema Blend: The obvious comparison for The Hunger Games and its box office future is The Twilight Saga, but it’s worth remembering that the mega-franchise had a small start before growing into the powerhouse it is now. The first film in the series, titled simply Twilight, made $192 million domestic – a huge amount of money for something made on such a small budget, but nothing compared to what came after. Most impressively, it made $69 million of that on opening weekend, meaning that for the first film in the franchise, it was the die-hard fans already out there who made them most of their cash.
The Hunger Games may be able to do even better – it’s more about action scenes than a love triangle, and could draw in male audiences in a way that the Twilight movies never have. So while The Hunger Games will inevitably open huge no matter what – expect it to beat Twilight‘s $69 million and likely do even better – it’ll be in the following weeks, when we see if it builds on its audience, that we truly know if The Hunger Games is going to be gigantic. The ideal would be a box office something like 300‘s, which was another March opening building off a big fan base from the books. That Zack Snyder film opened to $96 million and went on to make nearly half a billion worldwide. I have no doubt that’s the dream Lionsgate executives are hoping for, and if they keep up the excellent marketing campaign, they might just be able to reach it.
ComingSoon.net: As someone who tries to predict the box office year-round, The Hunger Games certainly has the potential to be one of the more interesting box office stories of 2012. On the one hand, it’s a huge phenomenon due to the popularity of the books, and I’m confident that anyone who has read the books is excited to see all the movies. I’m confident that those who’ve read the books will be out opening weekend, but I’m not as confident that the movie will connect with non-readers at least right off the bat. It’s still very early but because the first trailer focused on the drama and relationships and didn’t show any of the action in the arena, the movie might not be the must-see event movie it needs to be a success. Lionsgate still has time to work on it, but right now, I’m thinking the movie will open somewhere in the $50 to 60 million range.
The thing is that if the movie is any good then those who see it who haven’t read the books will likely tell their friends, which will potentially build up the movie’s audience so that the second movie, Catching Fire, can open significantly bigger in its November 2013 release, setting things up for a massive finale.
The important thing though is that people have to get their friends to read the books because once you do it’s impossible not to look forward to the movies and Lionsgate has three months to figure out a way to get non-readers excited.
These, and the rest of the predictions in the full article, are interesting, but should still be taken with a grain of salt. It is impossible to predict what a movie will really end up doing, no matter how much of an expert someone is. Plenty of experts expected Avatar to be a spectacular failure, and I’m sure you know it was anything but. Still, it is encouraging to see that many in the field feel that The Hunger Games is poised for great success.