Dominating the box office this weekend with an astounding $155 million, “The Hunger Games” also landed some major milestones as it set records for highest midnight screening ($19.75 million), highest non-sequel opening weekend, highest March opening (beating out the Twilight franchise’s “New Moon,” which opened in March 2009 at $142.8 million) and the official third biggest opening ever.
Jennifer Lawrence now occupies the rarefied air inhabited by Kristin Stewart and Daniel Radcliffe as the new face of a now monster franchise that will no doubt consume much of her days and nights in coming years.
Here’s a look at this week’s contenders:
Jennifer Lawrence – “The Hunger Games”
The Oscar-nominated Lawrence got a taste of what stardom could be like when she played Mystique in last summer’s box office hit “X-Men: First Class,” but taking on Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” has now shot the 21 year old to ‘biggest star in the world’ status for the week. She’s currently #1 on IMDb Pro’s STARmeter and has become the latest flavor of the moment for the much coveted tweens and teens market.
As Lawrence showed this week on “David Letterman” and “Chelsea Lately,” she has a grounded, down to Earth persona that should get her through the trying times of this journey if/when she becomes fed up with being Katniss. And, with her unquestioned skill/talent there’s hope that this all-consuming role won’t define her career.
Jonah Hill / Channing Tatum – “21 Jump Street”
Once you get past the beast that is “Hunger Games,” the box office week reflects its predecessor. “21 Jump Street” had an impressive turnout (all things considered) with $21 million. And this week we learned the Hill/Tatum bromance wasn’t just on screen. While visiting “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” Tatum let loose some of the craziness that occurred when the two were on their press tour, including some skinny dipping in Miami.
Zac Efron / Taylor Swift / Danny DeVito – “The Lorax”
Though Dr. Seuss never wrote a follow up to “The Lorax,” that’s not stopping Hollywood from thinking one is possible. With $14 million this weekend (bringing their total domestic gross to over $175 million), reports are surfacing that Efron and Swift could be coming back to lend their voices to a sequel.
And, the Celebs.com Winner of the Week is…
Well, you don’t have to be a rabid box office watcher like us to figure out who had the biggest week. Yep, Jennifer Lawrence pretty much owned it. But let’s also give some love to Tatum, who in only three months into 2012 has headlined two hits at the box office with “The Vow” and “Jump Street,” taking his total box office for the year to over $190 million.
Don’t be jealous, Jennifer, you’ll get to that figure before the end of the week!