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'Hunger Games' Tops Weekend Box Office

By David Germain

LOS ANGELES -- The Hunger Games is still the first item on the menu for movie fans, taking in $61.1 million to remain the No. 1 film in its second weekend.

Studio estimates Sunday put Lionsgate's (LGF) The Hunger Games well ahead of Sam Worthington's action sequel Wrath of the Titans, which opened in second-place with $34.2 million.

That's far below the $61.2 million opening of its predecessor, Clash of the Titans, two years ago. But distributor Warner Bros. a unit of Time Warner (TWX) opened Clash on Easter weekend, when young fans already were off school and in holiday mode. With Easter coming next weekend, the studio expects Wrath to catch up to Clash in the next few weeks.

Julia Roberts' comic Snow White reinvention Mirror Mirror debuted at No. 3 with $19 million. Released by Relativity Media, the film casts Roberts as the wicked queen opposite Lily Collins as Snow White.

Starring Jennifer Lawrence as a teen forced to compete in a televised death match, The Hunger Games lifted its domestic total to $251 million after just 10 days.

"We're obviously ecstatic at that quarter of a billion -- I like the sound of that, by the way," said David Spitz, head of distribution for Lionsgate. "We're going into a period now with Easter weekend and spring break where literally 30% of kids are out of school starting tomorrow. ... We have a great opportunity to continue to play and play and play."

The Hunger Games shot past Dr. Seuss' the Lorax ($189.6 million domestically) to become the top-grossing film this year.

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Wrath of the Titans had a smaller domestic opening than 2010's Clash, but the sequel was the top draw overseas with a debut of $78 million in 60 markets. That gave it a worldwide total of $112.2 million.

Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., said he expects "Wrath" to follow a pattern similar to the studio's Sherlock Holmes sequel last December.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows opened earlier in the month and to much smaller crowds than the first movie, which premiered over the busy Christmas weekend. Yet Game of Shadows held on longer in subsequent weekends, its worldwide haul slightly exceeding the original movie.

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