Weekend Box Office: We Wish You a Scary Christmas

For the third consecutive week, ‘The Hunger Games’ took the top spot at the box office. That was to be expected. What wasn’t expected was that a PG-13 Christmas horror tale came close to defeating Katniss.

While ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2‘ only slipped a mild 50% in its second week, it took a major plunge in its third week. Dropping 64%, the finale added $18.6 million this weekend. There’s no denying that the film’s 17-day $227.1 million domestic and $296.8 million international totals prove this to be another huge win for Lionsgate, but compared to the previous three ‘Hunger Games’ movies, ‘Mockingjay, Part 2’ is a letdown. At this point, ‘Mockingjay, Part 1‘ had domestically grossed upwards of $30 million more and ‘Catching Fire‘ was up more than $100 million. ‘The Hunger Games’ has come to a successful close, but it lost a large chunk of viewership along the way. This is likely to be the last weekend that ‘Mockingjay, Part 2’ finishes in the #1 spot.

Although it couldn’t extinguish The Girl on Fire, to the surprise of many, ‘Krampus‘ came close. From 2,902 screens, the scary Christmas flick grossed $16 million and finished in second place. The film’s per-screen average ($5,520) was actually the highest of all the Top 10 movies. With a production budget of $15 million, ‘Krampus’ is a success already on its way to profitability.

With a 47% drop from last week’s huge Thanksgiving debut, ‘Creed‘ held onto the #3 spot and won $15.5 million. Its domestic 12-day total sits at $65.1 million.

Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur‘ finished in fourth place, but took a massive second-week decline. Most kids’ movies drop a mild 30% to 40% over their sophomore weeks, but ‘The Good Dinosaur’ tanked more than 60%. That’s the largest decline for a Pixar title to date. After 12 days, it has earned $75.9 million in North America.

In its fifth week, 007’s latest outing dropped 58% and rounded out the Top 5. The $5.4 million weekend isn’t too bad – that is, if you don’t look at the per-screen average. Still playing on more than 2,800 screens, ‘Spectre‘ only nabbed $1,910 from each location.

Of the specialty releases, Spike Lee’s latest picture did the best. From 305 locations, ‘Chi-Raq‘ drew $1.2 million and a healthy per-screen average of $4,099. The film’s performance is worlds better than Lee’s last joint, ‘Oldboy‘, which only opened to a per-screen average of $1,519.

Freestyle Releasing’s religious drama, ‘The Letters‘, debuted enough screens to be classified as a nationwide release, but crashed and burned upon takeoff. The Mother Teresa bio-pic earned $802,000 from 886 locations, giving it a brutally low $905 per-screen average.

Two other limited awards hopefuls opened strongly. From four locations, Fox Searchlight’s ‘Youth‘ debuted to $80,000 and a very healthy per-screen average of $20,000. Although it didn’t do quite as much business, the Weinstein Company’s ‘Macbeth‘ scored $67,868 and a per-screen average of $13,574.

Opening numbers have yet to be announced for ‘Life’, ‘MI-5’ or ‘Christmas Eve’.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2’ (Lionsgate) – $18,600,000

2. ‘Krampus’ (Universal) – $16,020,000

3. ‘Creed’ (Warner Bros.) – $15,540,000

4. ‘The Good Dinosaur’ (Buena Vista) – $15,512,000

5. ‘Spectre’ (Sony) – $5,425,000

6. ‘The Night Before’ (Sony) – $4,920,000

7. ‘The Peanuts Movie’ (Fox) – $3,525,000

8. ‘Spotlight’ (Open Road) – $2,926,000

9. ‘Brooklyn’ (Fox Searchlight) – $2,430,000

10. ‘The Secret in their Eyes’ (STX) – $1,950,000


  1. William Henley

    I’m surprised Krampus pulled in that much per screen. We saw it Friday night, and the theater only had about 50 people in an auditorium that seats 475.

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