“Clash of the Titans” was a last-minute entry in the 3-D arena, but the move appeared to pay off, after it conquered the weekend box office with a $61.4 million gross, a new record for an Easter release.
The film stars Sam Worthington (“Avatar”) as the heroic Perseus and Ralph Fiennes as the villainous Hades in a take-off from Greek mythology.
Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?” took second place with a $30.2 million box office, but off Perry’s best outing, “Madea Goes to Jail,” which scored $41 million last year.
Distributor Warner Bros Pictures, owned by Time Warner Inc., said the “Clash” was on target in terms of box office expectations.
“Clash” also grossed $44.2 million from overseas sales and dominated box offices in all 15 of its foreign markets. That brings the current worldwide total to $108.26 million.
Moreover, it suggests that “Avatar’s” success with 3-D is not a one-off phenomenon. Theaters charge more for 3-D tickets, which is driving the latest craze in the technology.
“Clash of the Titans,” is a case in point. It was originally shot as a 2-D film and was re-mastered into a 3-D movie.
It cost around $100 million to make, and 3D theaters accounted for just over half of total sales even though the film played in more 2D locations.
Studios believe 3-D films gives them an edge over DVD, pay-per-view and burgeoning business of movie streaming and downloads over the Internet.
In fact 3-D theaters are facing a glut of movies right now. “Clash” was forced to bid for screens against “How to Train Your Dragon” and Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
Among the 3-D films, “Dragon” came in at No. 3 with $29.2 million, taking its 10-day haul to $92.3 million.
After a relatively disappointing $44 million opening, word-of-mouth advertising helped to keep theatergoers coming.
The film lost just one-third of its audience, compared to the average 50 percent drop for most films.
“Alice” fell three to No. 5 with $8.3 million in its fifth weekend; its tally stands at $309.8 million.
Miley Cyrus’ first “adult” film, “The Last Song,” debuted at No. 4 with $16.2 million, pushing its gross to $25.6 million after opening on Wednesday.
“The 2006 release, Scary Movie 4,” holds the previous Easter record at $40.2 million.