Mockingjay – Part 2 Charges Into First Place
Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 arrived with a first place debut of $102.67 million last weekend (Nov. 20-27). While the final chapter of the blockbuster franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence delivered the fifth largest debut of 2015 to date, the film also debuted below expectations.Mockingjay – Part 2 also opened 17 percent below the $121.90 million start of last year’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which is an underwhelming stat, especially given that Mockingjay – Part 2 had the added advantage of higher priced IMAX admissions and that well-publicized franchise finales don’t tend to fall off significantly from the box office performances of their predecessors. After the explosion of the franchise with 2013’s Catching Fire, the popularity of The Hunger Games franchise has come back down to earth a bit with Mockingjay – Part 1 and now Mockingjay – Part 2. With that said, it must be kept in perspective that Mockingjay – Part 2 still claimed the eighth largest debut ever for the month of November without adjusting for inflation.
With Mockingjay – Part 2 having opened lower than its predecessor, it may display slightly better holding power thanMMockingjay – Part 1. But at the same time, Mockingjay – Part 2 will also face much tougher competition later in its run from Star Wars: The Force Awakens than Mockingjay – Part 1 faced from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies last year.
After leading the box office for the previous two weeks, Spectre fell to second place with $15.04 million. The latest installment of Sony Pictures and MGM’s James Bond franchise was down a sharp 57 percent from the previous weekend. Last weekend’s hold was especially lackluster given that Mockingjay – Part 2 wasn’t as dominant as previous Huger Games films have been. Spectre continues to perform on the very low end of expectations with a 17-day take of $154.15 million. That places the film just 9 percent ahead of the $141.42 million 17-day gross of 2008’s Quantum of Solace and 30.5 percent behind the $221.14 million 17-day take of 2012’s Skyfall, though it should be noted that the third weekends for both Quantum of Solace and Skyfall fell over Thanksgiving weekend.
The Peanuts Movie followed in third with $13.20 million. The 3D computer animated adaptation from 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky was down a sizable 47 percent. While that actually represented one of the weekend’s stronger percentage holds among wide releases, The Peanuts Movie continues to display significant front-loading for a well-received family film .The Peanuts Movie has still grossed a solid $99.35 million through 17 days of release. Looking ahead, family films traditionally experience strong holds over the Thanksgiving holiday frame, but The Peanuts Movie will also be facing tough new competition from Disney Studios’ The Good Dinosaur beginning on Wednesday.
Sony’s The Night Before debuted in fourth place with $9.88 million. The R-rated comedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie debuted below already scaled back expectations. It appears that potential for The Night Before was limited in part from the film coming across as more of a niche comedy as opposed to a more mainstream comedy. On a positive note, The Night Before has a good chance of holding up well throughout the holiday season and the film did carry a modest production budget of $25 million.
Fellow new release Secret in Their Eyes followed in fifth place with a debut of just $6.65 million. The thriller from STX Entertainment starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts debuted below already modest expectations. The cast of ultimately wasn’t enough to bring in moviegoers and mixed reviews didn’t help matters either.
Meanwhile, upon expanding into moderate release last weekend Open Road’s Spotlight took eighth place with $3.53 million. The awards season hopeful starring Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton registered a solid average of $6,026 from 598 locations. However, it does appear that Spotlight could have problems building momentum as it expands further given how much its per-location average tailed off last weekend. Spotlight has grossed $5.88 million in 17 days.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|1||N/A||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2||$102.67M||$102.67M||1|
|3||2||The Peanuts Movie||$13.20M||$99.35M||3|
|4||N/A||The Night Before||$9.88M||$9.88M||1|
|5||N/A||Secret in Their Eyes||$6.65M||$6.65M||1|
|6||3||Love the Coopers||$4.13M||$15.13M||2|
|10||8||Bridge of Spies||$2.01M||$65.24M||6|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.