We knew that the ‘Hunger Games’ finale would top the box office this weekend, but the franchise’s picture-over-picture decline is rather surprising. Unfortunately, that’s not the only new movie to perform below expectations.
The ‘Hunger Games’ franchise started with incredible strength and momentum. Although it has come to a close with unarguable box office success, it’s interesting to see how much less the final chapter opened to compared to its predecessors. The original ‘Hunger Games‘ premiered to a massive $152.5 million in 2012. ‘Catching Fire‘ debuted even stronger with $158 million, but then ‘Mockingjay, Part 1‘ opened substantially lower with $121.8 million. Now, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2‘ debuted quite a bit lower than that with $101 million. Overseas, the finale also opened below ‘Part 1’ (which hit $152 million internationally), but not as significantly low (this one’s down to $146 million). With an estimated budget of $125 million and a forecasted domestic cumulative total in the $250 million range, ‘Mockingjay, Part 2’ will still be a studio hit, but not in the way that the first two series installments were. Even among the fans of the original novels, the last book has been considered the let-down of the series. It appears that the looming dislike of the ‘Mockingjay’ book carried over to moviegoers. The final entry in the series is likely to stick around the Top 10 for a few weeks, but won’t have the staying power that we saw with the others.
Three weeks in, ‘Spectre‘ finished in second place, but took its first big hit at the box office. The latest James Bond flick dropped nearly 57% in attendance. Its $14.6 million weekend brought the film’s domestic 21-day total up to $153.7 million, which is nowhere near where ‘Skyfall‘ was at this point. (In its third week, ‘Skyfall’ had $221.1 million in the bank.) However, overseas moviegoers are still continuing to fuel the latest 007 title at incredible rates. Internationally, ‘Spectre’ has grossed $524.1 million, giving it a worldwide total of $677.8 million.
‘The Peanuts Movie‘ finished in third place with a decent 47% decline in attendance. The movie’s $12.8 million weekend brought its domestic total just thousands away from matching its $99 million production budget. With Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’ opening in two days, it’s likely that ‘Peanuts’ will fall off from here and not climb too much higher above its current $98.9 million total. Now showing in eight international markets, the film is struggling to find an audience overseas. To date, it has only earned $9.8 million from those regions, which include Italy and China.
The Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen crude Christmas comedy ‘The Night Before‘ kicked off its opening weekend with a so-so $10.1 million. After the serious underperformance of last year’s ‘The Interview‘, Rogen’s audience may be leaving him behind.
Speaking of stars who’ve lost their box office power, the fifth-place picture was Julia Roberts’ ‘The Secret in Their Eyes‘. The drama’s $6.6 million debut and $2,773 per-screen average mark the lowest opening in Roberts’ career. This remake was reportedly produced for $19.5 million, which will be tough to recoup with a slow start like this.
In limited release, Todd Haynes’ ‘Carol‘ opened to the third-best per-screen average of the year behind ‘Steve Jobs’ ($130,382) and ‘Sicario’ ($66,881). From four locations, ‘Carol’ collected $248,149 and a per-screen average of $62,037. The Weinstein Company is set to expand the limited release next weekend and take the movie nationwide in the following weeks.
British gangster film ‘Legend‘ opened at four locations to a decent $83,000. With a $20,750 per-screen average, Universal will expand it in the coming weeks.
1. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ (Lionsgate) – $101,025,000
2. ‘Spectre’ (Sony) – $14,600,000
3. ‘The Peanuts Movie’ (Fox) – $12,800,000
4. ‘The Night Before’ (Sony) – $10,100,000
5. ‘The Secret in Their Eyes’ (STX) – $6,633,000
6. ‘Love the Coopers’ (CBS) – $3,925,000
7. ‘The Martian’ (Fox) – $3,700,000
8. ‘Spotlight’ (Open Road) – $3,603,466
9. ‘The 33’ (Warner Bros.) – $2,240,000
10. ‘Bridge of Spies’ (Buena Vista) – $1,945,000