by Joal Ryan | Sun., Apr. 8, 2012 9:51 AM
No, Titanic wasn't the iceberg that sunk The Hunger Games; The Hunger Games was the iceberg that sunk Titanic.
The Hunger Games won the weekend box office for a third straight time, grossing an estimated $33.5 million, and pushing its domestic haul past $300 million.
The Titanic 3-D rerelease, meanwhile, was left not only looking up at the year's biggest blockbuster, but Stifler's mom, too.
American Reunion took second place with a solid-enough $21.5 million Friday-Sunday debut.
Titanic 3D settled for third with $17.4 million, an amount that at once isn't bad for a 14-year-old movie, and isn't great for an Oscar-winning classic that formerly reigned as Hollywood's all-time moneymaker.
Even among 3-D rereleases, Titanic fell short.
The Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet movie failed to challenge the opening-weekend record posted last year by The Lion King ($30.2 million), and it failed to match this past winter's debut of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace ($22.5 million).
Its opening was an improvement, however, over director James Cameron's last retooling effort: The special-edition of Avatar launched to $4 million in the summer of 2010.
Also, Titanic's take put it a little bit closer to reclaiming its box-office title. But with the 1997 film now at $626.5 million overall domestically, it's still far away from Avatar's $760.5 million.
For its part, The Hunger Games is in 37th place, and climbing, on the list of all-time domestic hits, per BoxOfficeMojo.com rankings.
With $302.8 million in the domestic bank, it is the second-fastest nonsequel to reach the $300 million mark.
The Hunger Games got there with the help of great legs. Its ticket sales were down less than 50 percent from last weekend.
American Reunion showed some leg, too. While its opening was the weakest yet for an American Pie sequel, the $50 million comedy's $40.8 million worldwide debut was on the money.
Elsewhere, 21 Jump Street moved past $100 million domestically.
The Top 10 saw the exit of two of the year's most surprising success stories—and one of its biggest failures.
Act of Valor and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island dropped out after stays of six weeks and eight weeks, respectively. The low-budget, no-name Act of Valor has grossed $72 million worldwide, per BoxOfficeMojo.com; the Journey reboot has grossed $313 million.
Eddie Murphy's A Thousand Words fell from the rankings after four weeks. The comedy, which reportedly cost as "little" as $40 million, or as much as $70 million, has come up with only $18.2 million worldwide.
Here's the complete rundown of the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and BoxOfficeMojo.com:
(Originally published at 9:40 a.m. on April 8, 2012.)
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