The Hunger Games has dominated the box office for three weeks, but three new movies out this weekend make comparisons tougher and revenue looks set to decline.
MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler sees the box office generating 9% less as Hunger Games mania fades: He is predicting the weekendÂs top ten films will generate $101 million versus $111 million last year. He still sees The Hunger Games coming out on top, despite new releases, earning $18 million, while The Cabin in the Woods, The Three Stooges and Lockout, all of which are making their debut, should earn $15 million, $14.5 million and $9.5 million, respectively. Battleship could boost international box office returns, as it has already earned more than $7 million during this weekÂs previews.
Handler writes that while the second quarter is off to a good start, comparisons are becoming tougher. Through the second weekend of the new quarter, the box office is up 20.3% based on RegalÂs (RGC) fiscal calendar and is up 12.8% based on CinemarkÂs (CNK) calendar. ÂComparisons should become more difficult for the remainder of April, given the success of last yearÂs key releases Rio (4/15/11) and Fast Five (4/29/11). We are estimating a 4% decline for the 2Q12 box office, which compares with growth for the 2Q11 box office, based on the calendars for Regal and Cinemark of 3.1% and 4.4%, respectively. Comparisons are easier for IMAX (IMAX), which saw its global box office decline 6% in 2Q11, including a 32% decline in the average per-screen revenue from its domestic screens.Â