“Hunger Games” makes $300m in US

Action film The Hunger Games has topped the US box office for the third week in a row, with takings now in excess of $300m (£189m).

The movie, which stars Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, held off competition from Titanic 3D and the new American Pie film to stay at number one.

Based on Suzanne Collins’ novel, it follows a girl who is forced to take part in a televised fight to the death.

Globally, the film has made $460m (£290m). Its budget was $78m (£49m).

Box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian said the film’s success was due to the book’s popularity, combined with a lack of competition at US cinema screens.

“Great word of mouth, coupled with a release date that has given it a pretty open playing field, has allowed the film to effectively dominate the marketplace,” he said.

American Reunion, which catches up with the original cast of American Pie, 13 years after the events of the first film, took second place at the Easter Weekend box office.

The raunchy comedy has had mixed reviews in the States. Box Office magazine called it “the best slice of Pie yet” but the New York Times said the film had misjudged its audience.

“Remember American Pie?” wrote AO Scott. “If you do, this movie is redundant and sad. If you don’t, it’s irrelevant.”

Surveys at US multiplexes suggested that 61% of the audience for American Reunion was over 25, suggesting it drew heavily from fans of the earlier films.

They helped the film to make $21.5m (£13.5m) over the weekend, the lowest haul for an American Pie film since the series debut in 1999.

Titanic 3D was in third place, with takings of $17.4m (£10.9m) over the weekend, or $25.7m (£16m) including early screenings on Wednesday and Thursday.

The 11-time Oscar winner, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, was for a long time the most successful film of all time, until Avatar knocked it off the top of the chart.

The re-release has seen it claw back some ground, with its total box office haul now standing at $1.9bn (£1.2bn) compared to Avatar’s $2.8bn (£1.76bn)

Fourth place in the US box office went to fantasy sequel Wrath of the Titans. The film, which has suffered mixed reviews, was nonetheless the top of the global box office chart.

Mirror Mirror, a modern retelling of Snow White with Julia Roberts as the wicked Queen, took fifth place.

At the UK box office, Hunger Games was last week’s number one. Tallies for Easter Weekend are expected on Wednesday.

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