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'Hunger Games' Poised To Top 'Cabin In The Woods'

Could it be four weeks in a row at the top for Lionsgate film?

It's the fourth week, so it should be time for a film to start calming down at the box office and make room for new kings (or queens) for a week.

But "The Hunger Games" just won't do that. In fact, the Lionsgate film could finish its fourth week on top again, despite one horror film that has been universally receiving rave reviews.

"The Cabin in the Woods," written by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon and popular "Lost" and "Buffy" scribe Drew Goddard, has reviews that actually rival "Hunger Games," but can't seem to rival the film at the box office. At least on Friday night.

"Cabin," which stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison, pulled in a respectable $5.5 million on its first night in release, competing very closely with the iconic power of "The Three Stooges." Yet, neither film was able to top "Hunger Games" on Friday night, which added $6.5 million to its total, bringing its 22-day North American box office take to $322.1 million, according to The Numbers.

That site, which analyzes box office returns, said before Friday's numbers were announced that it would be tough for "Hunger Games" to make much more than $20 million this weekend. But with both "Three Stooges" and "Cabin" not expected to be blockbuster hits, the "anemic competition" might be enough to push it to the top once again.

"Cabin" has had an interesting life. It was actually shot in 2009, thus Hemsworth was actually an up-and-coming star at the time, fresh off "Star Trek." He hadn't even donned the Thor hammer yet, nor was he making too many plans to be in "The Avengers" film, which was directed by Whedon.

Some of the delay, however, focused on MGM wanting to convert the film to 3-D. Whedon fought that move, but by the time he won the battle, MGM was filing for bankruptcy protection from its creditors, which put a hold to all movies.

The film has now been released more than two years after its original premiere date of Feb. 5, 2010.

"Cabin" has earned a 93 percent positive rating from critics as aggregated through Rotten Tomatoes, with 140 reviews giving it the thumbs up, while just 11 didn't like it. Audiences are on board as well, with 81 percent of more than 28,000 surveyed saying they liked it.

"The Three Stooges" isn't getting the same love. More critics surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes hate the film than like it, but 71 percent of people who bought a ticket to see it said they liked it.

"The Hunger Games," in the meantime, has an 85 percent approval ratings from more than 150,000 viewers. At the same time, 84 percent of more than 245 critics surveyed gave the film a positive rating.

Combined with international box office, "Hunger Games" has now made $384.6 million, well ahead of its $80 million budget.

It is by far the largest-grossing film in Lionsgate history, even when adjusted for inflation. It surpassed 2004's Michael Moore documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" by $170 million domestically, and its trip through the North American box office continues.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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