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Weekend Wrap-Up: Thanksgiving Gives Moviegoers a Big Meal

November 30th, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

While not all of the individual movies did as well as expected over the weekend, the overall box office was strong. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 did a tiny bit better, while Creed was the biggest surprise of the weekend. On the other hand, The Good Dinosaur had a merely good opening. The overall box office rose 5.4% compared to last week and 13% compared to last year, pulling in $182 million over the three-day frame. Year-to-date, 2015 now has $9.55 billion and has extended its lead over 2014 to 4.1% or $380 million.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 remained in first place with $52.00 million, which was $1 million more than predicted. I'm calling that a win. It dropped just 49% during its sophomore stint, which is four points better than Part 1 managed, this is good news. On the other hand, in terms of raw box office, Part 2 is still falling behind, with $198.55 million compared to $225.68 million earned by Part 1 at this stage. That said, $300 million seems a lock, assuming The Force Awakens doesn't knock it out of most theaters when it debuts.

The Good Dinosaur struggled somewhat earning second place with $39.16 million over the three-day weekend for a total opening of $55.46 million. The film's reviews are great, but not quite up to the standard Pixar has set for itself. Additionally, even the positive reviews point out how it is aimed at younger kids, while Pixar movies tend to have a lot of crossover appeal with adults. Additionally, Pixar movies tend to cost a lot and this one is no different with a production budget of nearly $200 million. It likely won't match that domestically, so it will need help internationally and on the home market to break even.

Creed was relatively close behind with an opening of $29.63 million / $42.12 million during the three day / five day weekend. This is the biggest opening in the franchise, assuming you don't take inflation into account. Add in its reviews and it could have excellent legs. $100 million seems very likely, unless The Force Awakens crushes it before it gets there.

Spectre did better than expected over the weekend with $12.89 million for a total of $176.13 million. It remains on pace to hit $200 million... or The Force Awakens. There are some who think The Force Awakens will break the all-time opening record, perhaps earning $100 million during its opening day. In order to do this, it would need to be playing on so many screens in so many theaters that no other film will be able to survive. It is certainly possible, but it is also too soon to tell.

The Peanuts Movie slipped to fifth with $9.75 million over the weekend for a total of $116.80 million after twenty-four days of release. There are not a lot of family films opening in December, so it should continue to play in theaters till the new year.

Victor Frankenstein missed the top ten with just $2.47 million / $3.57 million in 2,797 theaters. It became the fourth film of 2015 to open in more than 2,000 theaters and earn a per theater average below $1,000. To put this into perspective, in the preview decade (2005-2014) there were only four such films. In one year, we've had the same number of epic bombs that the previous decade had. We've had record highs, but these record lows are more troublesome in my mind, because if a studio doesn't get a taste of the record highs, they could be driven under by too many record lows.

Looking in on the sophomore class, The Night Before held on much better than the Secret in Their Eyes did. It was down just 15% to $8.38 million over the weekend for a total of $24.28 million after ten days of release. I don't think it will get to $50 million, which is likely what it would need to break even before the home market. However, it is doing well enough that it will likely find a receptive audience on the home market. On the other hand, Secret in Their Eyes fell to just $4.42 million over the weekend for a total of $13.95 million after two. It will be mostly forgotten by the time it hits the home market.

Filed under: Rocky