Box Office: The Hunger Games Posts Lowest Debut In Series, Still Crosses $100 Million

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Looks like I wasn’t the only one who didn’t enjoy the way The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 ended, or didn’t end if we’re being honest. We can all agree that the film series hit its apex with the second entry Catching Fire. The most successful entry in the franchise is also the best installment. Mockingjay – Part 2 had to struggle to inch past $100 million its opening weekend. Most movies would kill for such an opening but the law of diminishing returns has finally hit The Hunger Games. After openings of $152 million and $158 million respectively, the Mockingjay movies opened at $121 million and $101 million a piece.

I’m not going to belabor too much on what happened. I failed to attend a critics screening in my region but some of the complaints I’ve read are regarding the excessive level of violence — like it should have been Rated R, not PG-13. Or it could be a case that audiences found it to be a chore to sit through another Dystopian saga. Still, $101 million is nothing to sneeze at and worldwide returns will make this the most profitable Lionsgate franchise for the foreseeable future.

With Mockingjay – Part 2 talking the bulk of the box office this weekend, it offered competition for second place. Spectre edges out The Peanuts Movie, but I fully suspect after Thanksgiving weekend those places will be reversed. The latest James Bond will overtake the domestic earnings of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace in less than two weeks but don’t look for it to get close to what Skyfall achieved in 2012 ($304 million domestic).

Two new releases, The Night Before and The Secret in Their Eyes, finished no. 4 and no. 5. If Open Road had any aspirations for Oscar nominations for Secret in Their Eyes it was muted on account of mediocrity. Some critic may say it has the cast the year, but I’ll take the cast of Spotlight over the talents of Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Speaking of Spotlight, the newspaper thriller jumped into the top 10, moving four spaces from 12th to the 8th spot. It finished the weekend with an estimated $3.6 million, just a $100k shy of The Martian, which has spent eight consecutive weeks in the top ten. Rounding out the top 10 is Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies. The Cold War drama has made $65.1 million in six weeks.

The Thanksgiving holidays is prime viewing time to go to the theater. New in theaters we’ll have Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, the boxing movie Creed, which breathes new life into a 40-year-old franchise, and Victor Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy.

The Good Dinosaur takes the weekend, but I’m most interested in seeing how audiences react to Creed. It’s so good.

Top 10 below.

01. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – $101 Million
02. Spectre – $14.6 Million ($153.7m)
03. The Peanuts Movie – $12.8 Million ($98.9m)
04. The Night Before – $10.1 Million
05. The Secret in Their Eyes – $6.6 Million
06. Love the Coopers – $3.9 Million ($14.9m)
07. The Martian – $3.7 Million ($213m)
08. Spotlight – $3.6 Million ($5.88m)
09. The 33 – $2.2 Million ($9.9m)
10. Bridge of Spies – $1.9 Million ($65.1m)

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