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Weekend Predictions: Will Moviegoers Feel Satiated?

November 20th, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

It should be a very busy weekend, at least at the top, as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 is nearly guaranteed to dominate the box office and many think it will top $100 million over the weekend. On the other hand, the other two releases are The Night Before and Secret in Their Eyes, neither of which is expected to do particularly well. That said, they would have to truly bomb to not at least make the top five, but I doubt either of them will top Spectre over the weekend. This weekend last year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 opened with just over $120 million. That is the figure Part 2 will need to match to be considered a success. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic, but not everyone is.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 is the final film in the Hunger Games franchise. ... Maybe. It is such a box office hit that I'm sure there's some studio executive trying to come up with a prequel that deals with the original revolution that the districts lost. The chances of that happening depends on how well this movie does at the box office. The signs are positive with the reviews bouncing back from the previous installment's and are currently at 73% positive. The competition is better this time around, amazingly, but I think it will top the previous film earning $125 million over the weekend. The holidays should help the legs, so a final box office of $400 million is a real possibility.

It looks like Spectre will earn second place with $17 million over the weekend pushing its total past $150 million. With holidays right around the corner, it should reach $200 million.

The Night Before could earn second place. It is an R-rated comedy with a very impressive cast. Additionally, its reviews are very positive. On the downside, the competition, while not direct, is very intense. On the high end, it could come close to $20 million, while on the low end, it will end up in fourth place with just over $12 million. I'm going with $16 million, but there's a little wiggle room here.

The Peanuts Movie should be next with about $14 million. This will push the film's running tally over $100 million and it has a shot at still being in theaters on Christmas, so it could get a bump from the holidays. I think Fox is happy with this result, but strong international and / or home market sales will be needed to break even.

Secret in Their Eyes is busted Oscar-bait. The film was clearly aiming for Awards Season success, but with reviews that are just 34% positive it is not going to get there. Furthermore, it is aiming for a more mature target audience, one that is more likely to read and trust reviews. This will hurt its box office chances. On the other hand, it would have to truly bomb to fail to reach the top five and I don't think that will happen. Look for an opening of $8 million and a rather swift exit from theaters.

Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, The Peanuts Movie, Spectre, The Night Before, Secret in Their Eyes, Hunger Games