Quick: What's the common thematic thread linking all of this week's Top 5 movies? If you said, "All involve some form of extreme pain and human suffering, inflicted either on the characters or on the paying audience forced to watch them," you're correct!
1. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate): $21.5 million in 3.916 theaters [Week 4]
The eyeball-jabbing Darwinism of the Farrelly Brothers' The Three Stooges proved no match for the teen survivalist safari that is The Hunger Games, the latter having decreased a scant 35 percent to bring its domestic total to a staggering $337 million. Ironically, that's enough to feed a family of four on fresh cuts of free-range adolescent flesh for approximately 1,028 years.
2. The Three Stooges (Fox): $17.1 million in 3,477 theaters
Still, no one in Hollywood is nyuk-nyuk-nyuking the respectable performance of the Stooges. It appears that a whole new generation is now enthralled with the exploits of Larry, Moe and Curly, incorrectly interpreted by some critics as being the three facets of Newt Gingrich's psychic apparatus.
3. The Cabin in the Woods (LGF): $14.85 million in 2,811 theaters
This self-aware spoof on one of horror cinema's most dusty tropes -- the rustic slasher -- has earned praise for its cleverness and ingenuity. Obviously, therefore, no one got it, with disappointed audiences giving the boobies-and-blood-deficient release a lackluster "C" CinemaScore. Lesson learned: Keep it stupid, stupid.
4. Titanic 3D (Paramount): $11.6 million in 2,697 theaters [Week 2]
The underwhelming performance of Titanic 3D has led some industry-watchers to predict that James Cameron's planned re-re-release -- Titanic 4D, in which a holographic Celine Dion would sit on the lap of every moviegoer to deliver a ear-shattering performance of "My Heart Will Go On" -- could now be in jeopardy.
5. American Reunion (Universal): $10.7 million in 3,203 theaters [Week 2]
Thanks to the broadband revolution, this important addition to the Blockbuster-clearance-bin canon will never achieve its heavily discounted destiny. Blame progress.