Box Office Preview: 'Hunger' to take huge bite

PAUL DERGARABEDIAN For The Associated Press Published:

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lionsgate's much-anticipated adaptation of the bestselling "Hunger Games" book series is about to unleash itself on a ravenous movie-going public.

With massive advance ticket sales, the PG-13 film about a dystopian future where teenagers fight to the death on live TV is poised for one of the biggest opening weekends of all time, with a potential domestic gross in the $130 million to $140 million range or more.

Sony's action-comedy "21 Jump Street" had a much-stronger-than-expected debut last weekend and should have a solid second go at it with around $20 million, despite that hungry 500-pound gorilla at the top of the box office.

Starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, the R-rated film has been performing well midweek and should finish out the weekend with around $70 million in total revenue.

Universal's "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" has been a winner ever since its debut in early March. The film had an impressive $70.2 million opening weekend and has continued to be the No. 1 family-film choice, having earned over $160 million to date in North America. In this, its fourth weekend of release, an expected low-teen gross will push it near the $175 million mark.

Disney's big budget sci-fi adventure "John Carter" will enter the weekend with North American revenues of almost $60 million and should grab another $5 million in this, its third weekend of release.

Warner Bros.' R-rated comedy "Project X" will cross the $50 million mark and Relativity Media's R-rated action-adventure "Act of Valor" will break $65 million as the films battle for the weekend's fifth position with grosses in the $2 million to $3 million range.

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Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and provides box office analysis for The Associated Press.

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Online: www.Hollywood.com

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