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Weekend Predictions: Will Hunger Games Leave Moviegoers Hungry?

November 20th, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 poster

There is only one wide release coming out this weekend, but it is the biggest release of the year. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 should have no trouble earning the biggest opening weekend of the year so far and it shouldn't take very long before it surpasses Guardians of the Galaxy for number one film of the year. As for the rest of the box office, there's not a lot to look forward to. Dumb and Dumber To will likely take a serious hit, while Big Hero 6 should overtake it over the weekend. This weekend last year, Catching Fire led the way with $158.07 million, which could be more than the entire box office earns this year. Hopefully that won't be the case, but I don't see how 2014 comes out ahead on the year-over-year comparison.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 should have no trouble earning first place over the weekend and for the year. The only film to open with more than $100 million so far this year is Age of Extinction and even on the low end, Mockingjay, Part 1 will blow past that. On the high end, the first two films in the franchise opened with more than $150 million and there is a chance this film will get there as well. At first I thought it would only have a slim chance of getting there, but it appears I was being a little too pessimistic. Fandango is reporting Mockingjay, Part 1 has a 90% share of the pre-sales for the weekend and there are some analysts that are predicting it will reach $160 million or more over the weekend. I'm not that bullish. The reviews are weaker than the first two movies managed. Critics are mostly complaining that the movie doesn't feel like a movie, but rather the first two hours of a four hour movie. Granted, 69% positive reviews is still great for this type of movie and I don't think the hardcore fans will skip it. However, I think there are some who will look at the reviews and think to themselves, "Maybe I'll wait till Part 2 is in theaters and watch both movies back-to-back. Overall, I think the opening will be a little weaker than the first two films and it will debut with $145 million. I do hope I'm just being too pessimistic.

Big Hero 6 has already surpassed $100 million and should have the best hold in the top five thanks to a combination of its target audience and its reviews. That said, it will be in a distant second place with about $22 million over the weekend. If it can beat that number by just a little bit, it will remain on pace for $200 million in total.

As expected, Interstellar crossed the $100 million mark on Tuesday and should add another $16 million to $17 million this weekend. This is disappointing compared to some of the loftier expectations, but it is doing better internationally, so Christopher Nolan has another hit on his hands.

Dumb and Dumber To started faster than expected, but its reviews will likely lead to a steep decline. It could earn third place with about $16 million, but I think fourth place and $15 million is more likely. The studio should be happy with this result and the film should break even early during its home market run, if not sooner.

Beyond the Lights should round out the top five with just over $3 million, while Gone Girl will be right behind with just under $3 million.


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Filed under: Weekend Preview, Interstellar, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Big Hero 6, Gone Girl, Dumb and Dumber To, Beyond the Lights, Hunger Games, Christopher Nolan