Right now when it comes to box office, all eyes are focused on “The Hunger Games.”
As they should be. The film took in more than $152 million this past weekend, making it the third biggest opening in film history, and the biggest ever for a non-sequel.
But there’s another box office fact bubbling under the surface that’s pretty interesting. So far in 2012, four films have earned more than $100 million at the box office. And none of them have been sequels or remakes.
Could originality be having its moment in Hollywood? Or at least its first moment in 60 years?
Well, let’s not get too carried away. But “The Lorax” ($177 million), “Games” ($152 million), “The Vow” and “Safe House” ($122 million each) are all first-timers. True, “Lorax,” “Games” and “The Vow” were all based on popular books, but at least they weren’t based on prior movies or TV shows.
Look, “The Hunger Games” had already started a rush for studios to acquire young adult series, and that rush became a stampede last weekend. And of course “Games” itself will spawn three sequels as Suzanne Collins’ trilogy is played out.
But for now, the top movies in the year’s first quarter are all newbie films, stories we’ve never seen before on screen. And somehow that seems good.
Of course here come “The Avengers,” and “Spider-man,” and “Men in Black III,” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” even “American Reunion” in two weeks.
But for now, the success of originality feels downright refreshing.