"The Hunger Games" was the dominant force at the box office for the second consecutive weekend, blowing by the quarter-billion-dollar mark after just 10 days in release.
The film about teens battling one another for survival did so well that two new films suffered: the 3-D sequel "Wrath of the Titans" and the Snow White adaptation "Mirror Mirror." The follow-up to 2010's "Clash of the Titans" collected $34.2 million, while the modern spin on the fairy tale only grossed $19 million.
The latter film was another box office dud for Julia Roberts, who plays the evil Queen in "Mirror Mirror." After appearing in a string of flops, can the actress retain her A-list status? Check out this week's box office video report for more.
The Hollywood gods spoke. And they did not approve of "Clash of the Titans."
Even though 2010's sword and sandals was a global blockbuster -- its nearly $500 million worldwide haul made it the year's 11th highest-grossing release -- its industry critics made a lot more noise than the ticket buyers. The focus of their ire? The hasty "Clash of the Titans" 3-D conversion, undertaken at the last minute to take advantage of higher 3-D ticket prices.
While James Cameron is spending more than a year turning his 1997 smash "Titanic" into a 3-D presentation for its April 4 re-release, the makers of "Clash of the Titans" spent a mere six weeks hurriedly converting the mythological spectacle into 3-D.
DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg said the film's makeover "snookered" ticket buyers, while "Avatar" creator Cameron said of the conversion, "There was no artistry to it whatsoever."
Arriving on Friday, the "Clash of the Titans" sequel, called "Wrath of the Titans," attempts to atone for the first film's shortcomings.
Although the new, $150-million "Titans" film also was converted from 2-D into 3-D, any number of shots and visual effects sequences were designed from the very beginning for stereoscopic presentation. What's more, the filmmakers spent a year on the 3-D upgrade, working hard to ensure that the conversion was done as well as possible.
Even if "Wrath of the Titans," which stars "Avatar's" Sam Worthington, silences its 3-D critics, it will have a hard time making a big splash at the box office, as it must fend off "The Hunger Games" juggernaut. The reviews for the film have been better than they were for "Clash of the Titans," but the "Wrath" notices are still mixed to negative.
In this week's Word of Mouth column, John Horn looks at the sequel's prospects, and previews his report in this video: