Monday Box Office Report – Not quite catching fire

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If there was ever a case of being a victim of your own success, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is it. Being the finale of one of the most popular movie franchises of recent memory, led by Jennifer Lawrence, one of the most popular Oscar-winning actresses of recent memory, and with solid reviews all around, everybody expected Katniss Everdeen’s last onscreen adventure to top the US box office when it opened this weekend past. And it did exactly that. Just not as well as it had hoped.

Mockingjay – Part 2 opened to a very nice sum of $101 million for the weekend, but this figure was down from Part 1‘s $120 million 3-day cume and even further than Catching Fire‘s franchise high watermark of $158 million. Maybe this whole “split the last movie into two parts” thing is finally coming back to bite Hollywood in the butt? I certainly hope so.

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But $101 million is still nothing to sneer at (even more so when it contributes to the film’s total $248 million global take), which meant that all the other films on the charts were essentially just there to eat whatever scraps fell from The Hunger Games‘ table. Even James Bond could only manage a meagre $14 million, which meant that new entries like Seth Rogen’s stoner holiday comedy The Night Before had to settle for barely making double digit millions with a $10.1 million opening. The film has a low $25 million budget and has been receiving surprisingly decent reviews, so it will probably do well enough on the international circuit to break even, but I’m the sure the studio was hoping for much more.

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The only other new entry on the Top 10 was writer/director Billy Ray’s star studded thriller The Secret In Their Eyes, but even with a hell of an A-List cast, and coming from the guy who wrote Captain Phillips, Flightplan and coincidentally the first The Hunger Games movie, it could only scrounge up $6.6 million. There’s no secret that that will be a disappointment.

Something that won’t be is the sudden Top 10 emergence of another star studded thriller in Spotlight. The true story tale from acclaimed writer/director Tom McCarthy, which boasts a cast that includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schrieber and Stanley Tucci, has seen a lot of Oscar buzz, but when it opened in the US two weeks ago, it was to lowly 23rd place. Of course there was the fact that it only opened in only 5 cinemas. It expanded to another 56 cinemas last week, which managed to propel it up to 12th place, and with a proper wide release this week it now leapfrogs its way to 8th with $3.6 million. The film only has a budget of $5.9 million so if it keeps this momentum alive it should become profitable in no time.

Read  Halloween comes to life in this trailer for Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween 

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Lets see what else is happening on the charts.

  • 1. The Hunger Games: MockingJay – Part 2 – $101 million (NE)
  • 2. Spectre – $14.6 million (*LW: 1st)
  • 3. The Peanuts Movie – $12.8 million (LW: 2nd)
  • 4. The Night Before – $10.1 million (NE)
  • 5. The Secret In Their Eyes – $6.6 million (NE)
  • 6. Love the Coopers – $3.9 million (LW: 3rd)
  • 7. The Martian – $3.7 million (LW: 4th)
  • 8. Spotlight – $3.6 million (LW: 12th)
  • 9. The 33 – $5.84 million (LW: 5th)
  • 10. Bridge of Spies – $1.94 million (LW 7th)

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you: Hotel Transylvania 2’s immortal death grip has finally been loosened on the Top 10! After 9 week on the charts, during which it yo-yo’d up and down the charts while pulling in $166 million domestically, the Adam Sandler led animated flick has finally dropped out. The other major – and a bit unexpected – departure this week is Goosebumps, which plummeted a whole six places to 12th. I’m sure it was expecting a bit more than it’s current $76 million domestic total.

*LW = Last week, NE = New entry

Last Updated: November 23, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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