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Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 03-26-12


 
Ralph Fiennes as Hades in “Wrath of the Titans”

Ralph Fiennes as Hades in “Wrath of the Titans”

Rosamund Pike in “Wrath of the Titans”

Rosamund Pike in “Wrath of the Titans”

Scene from “Wrath of the Titans” featuring Rosamund Pike

Scene from “Wrath of the Titans” featuring Rosamund Pike

Julia Roberts & Armie Hammer in “Mirror Mirror”

Julia Roberts & Armie Hammer in “Mirror Mirror”

“Titans” talk: The ancient Greek gods in “Wrath of the Titans” aren’t very happy, but today’s movie gods are definitely smiling on the sizzling boxoffice.

On the heels of Lionsgate’s $155 million uber-blockbuster launch of “The Hunger Games” last weekend, Warner Bros. is gearing up to feed moviegoers to the multiplexes with its Mar. 30 “Titans” kick-off. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (“Battle: Los Angeles”), the PG-13 rated 3D fantasy action adventure stars Sam Worthington, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Danny Huston, Edgar Ramirez and Bill Nighy.

“Titans” is the second episode in the WB and Legendary Pictures franchise that began with 2010’s “Clash of the Titans.” Although the quality of “Clash’s” 3D conversion was criticized at the time, that didn’t hurt it at the boxoffice. “Clash” arrived to $61.2 million and wound up grossing $163.2 million in domestic theatres. On top of that, it took in $330 million from international theatres.

The new “Titans” episode is tracking solidly as a double-digits overall first choice. Not surprisingly, its greatest strength is with men — tracking almost equally well with under-25 and over-25 males.

“Titans” only new wide release competition is Relativity Media’s PG rated adventure comedy drama “Mirror Mirror,” directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Lily Collins, Julia Roberts and Armie Hammer. This re-telling of the Snow White fairy tale is tracking best with over-25 females — many of whom are moms-bringing-kids to the movies — which is exactly the right audience for “Mirror.”

With that kind of demographic split, there’s definitely room in this weekend’s marketplace for both the female skewing “Mirror” and the male appeal “Titans.”

Bottom line: While “Titan’s” tracking strength isn’t nearly in “Hunger’s” ballpark, it’s sufficiently robust to generate a strong boxoffice finish for the month of March. It’s also another great shot in the arm for the year to date. Thus far, 2012’s ticket sales of about $2.4 million are running roughly 19 percent ahead of last year.

What’s benefited 2012 to date are mega-hits like Universal’s “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” (over $177 million), Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” (opening to $155 million), Screen Gems’ “The Vow” (nearly $123 million), Universal’s “Safe House” (nearly $123 million) and Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” (nearly $100 million).