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Weekend Wrap-Up: Hunger Games Goes on a Diet

November 24th, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 poster

As expected, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 earned first place with ease pulling in more than the rest of the box office combined. On the downside, it was well below the optimistic expectations at just $121.90 million. ... It seems strange that an opening of $121.90 million is considered disappointing. Worse still, none of the other films in the top five topped predictions, so they couldn't help mitigate Mockingjay, Part 1's softer than anticipated opening. The overall box office still rose 38% from last weekend to $194 million, but this was 14% lower than the same weekend last year. There's really no way to spin that in a positive manner. Year-to-date, 2014 has earned $8.94 billion, which is 3.2% or $290 million lower than last year's pace. Again, it is hard to spin that number in a positive way.

I originally thought The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 would opened with about $135 million, but I admit I got swept up in the buzz. That said, even my lower prediction wasn't low enough as the movie opened with $121.90 million. This is still the biggest opening of the year by a significant margin over the previous top film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, which opened with $100.04 million. It is by far the weakest opening film of the franchise. Assuming this film has the same legs as the previous installment, it will finish with $327.5 million, which is less than Guardians of the Galaxy pulled in. And that assumption isn't a sure thing either, as its reviews are also the weakest in the franchise. Perhaps weaker competition this year than last will help it become the biggest hit of the year, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Big Hero 6 was way back in second place with $20.12 million over the weekend for a three-week total of $135.75 million. It is still ahead of Wreck-It Ralph's pace, so it should top $200 million before its run is over, making it one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing year.

On the otherhand, Interstellar isn't living up to high expectations with $15.34 million over the weekend for a total of $120.93 million after three weeks of release. It will break even before it reaches the home market, but it is still below average for Christopher Nolan.

Dumb and Dumber To fell from first to fourth with $14.08 million during its sophomore stint for a ten-day total of $57.73 million. It very likely won't reach $100 million, not unless it gets a big boost from Thanksgiving, but it will likely make enough to break even sooner rather than later.

Gone Girl remained in the top five for one more weekend earning $2.84 million over the weekend for a total of $156.84 million after 8 weeks of release. It is very rare for a film to spend that much time in the top five.

Beyond the Lights was bumped into sixth place with $2.63 million over the weekend for a ten-day total of $10.13 million. It likely didn't cost a lot to make, but unless it has a great run on the home market, it won't break even any time soon.


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