The Hunger Games Remains Victor for Four Straight Weeks in US Box Office

The “Hunger Games” slapped “The Three Stooges” silly this weekend, fending off the newcomer to claim the No. 1 spot for the fourth consecutive week.

The best-seller adaptation took in $21.5 million, according to studio estimates from Hollywood.com.

The movie became the first in three years to capture the No. 1 spot for a month straight. The film has done $337.1 million since its release four weekends ago.

“The last film to do this (four straight box-office wins) was ‘Avatar’ ” in 2009, says Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com.

The movie fell just 35 percent from its haul last weekend, indicating a strong word of mouth — strong enough to hold off Larry, Moe and Curly.

“The Three Stooges,” the latest comedy from the Farrelly brothers, took second place with $17.1 million, slightly ahead of projections. While only 43 percent of critics gave it a thumbs-up, about 72 percent of moviegoers enjoyed it, says pollsters Rottentomatoes.com.

The horror film “The Cabin in the Woods” opened to a solid $14.9 million, riding a wave of unusually solid reviews for a horror film. According to the amalgam site, a whopping 92 percent of reviewers recommended the film, compared with 81 percent of moviegoers.

The only other major release, the thriller “Lockout,” mustered just $6.3 million and ninth place, leaving it destined for home video soon.

Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo says “Hunger Games” capitalized on a gender gap at theaters: “Male moviegoers were split between the three new releases, which allowed the female-skewing ‘Hunger Games’ ” to take the crown again.

The re-release “Titanic 3-D” was fourth with $11.6 million, followed by the comedy “American Reunion” with $10.6 million.

Ticket sales continue to surge with the healthy openings. Revenue remains up about 19 percent ahead of the same time last year, and attendance is up 22 percent over 2011, according to Hollywood.com.

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