‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2’ Wins Third Straight Box Office Title

     December 6, 2015


This year’s post-Thanksgiving frame won’t go down as a blockbuster by any means but, then again, it very rarely does. The total box office take at this time last year was just $78.2 million, making it one of the worst weekends in a very uneven year. This year’s $94.7 million total looks robust by comparison – especially because four movies (instead of 2014’s one) made it above $15 million. But let’s be honest: at this point we’re all just counting the days before we see a true blockbuster in action. And with one weekend to go before The Force Awakens, we’ve got to find box office interest where we can.

As expected, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part 2 was the default winner this weekend, despite coming in second on Friday. The final chapter in the blockbuster franchise took in an estimated $18.6 million from 4,086 locations (down from 4,175 last weekend). That’s a bit lower than expected, representing a drop of 64% from last weekend. By comparison, Mockingjay-Part 1 was down 61% at the same point last year – with an overall domestic total of $258.1 million. In terms of worldwide grosses, Mockingjay 2 has earned $523.9 million. At this point it doesn’t seem likely that the film will catch up to its predecessor’s final North America or global grosses, simply because there isn’t enough time left before that aforementioned force awakens.

krampus-posterIn a much more unexpected turn of events, Krampus opened in second place this weekend. The holiday horror-comedy, distributed by Universal, earned an estimated $16 million from 2,902 locations – doubling many analysts’ pre-release projections. The film received a B- from CinemaScore and a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Both scores are unusually high for a horror movie, which might explain how the appeal of Krampus was so radically underestimated this weekend.

This weekend’s third- and fourth-place films are Creed and The Good Dinosaur, separated by only $32,000. The close finish isn’t a surprise, though finding a Pixar movie in fourth place one week after its opening certainly is.

Headed into this weekend a lot of box office writers (myself included) believed that The Good Dinosaur had an excellent shot at claiming first place. Pixar just needed to avoid a drop of more than 50% (only two of their films have had steeper sophomore declines) to make The Good Dinosaur the new number one film in North America. Unfortunately, the studio’s latest release appears to be a Pixar anomaly. The film was down 60.4% in its sophomore frame: the steepest second week drop in the studio’s history. Cars 2 fell by 60.3% in 2011, though that was on an especially competitive early July frame. Toy Story 2, which went wide the Wednesday before Thanksgiving just like The Good Dinosaur, was off 51.6% in its second week in 1999.

As for Creed, the Warner Bros.’ release was down only 47.6% in its sophomore frame. The well-reviewed son of the Rocky franchise has earned over $65 million in its first 12 days, putting it on track to top the final domestic gross of 2006’s Rocky Balboa by next weekend.

Spectre fell to fifth place this weekend, leaving it no chance to match the final domestic gross of 2012’s Skyfall. Luckily, Spectre is a monster overseas. The latest installment in the James Bond franchise has already amassed $792 million worldwide. That’s not quite the $1.1 billion that Skyfall collected in 2012, but it’s getting there.

In other international news, The Martian added nearly $50 to its global total after finally opening in China last week. Though the Ridley Scott-directed hit fell out of the domestic top ten this weekend, it is still out there earning – ten weeks after its initial release.

Here’s this weekend’s top ten, based on studio estimates:

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2 $18,600,000 $227.1
2.  Krampus $16,020,000 $16
3.  Creed $15,540,000 $65.1
4.  The Good Dinosaur $15,512,000 $75.95
5.  Spectre $5,425,000 $184.5
6.  The Night Before $4,920,000 $32
7.  The Peanuts Movie $3,525,000 $121.4
8.  Spotlight $2,926,844 $16.6
9.  Brooklyn $2,430,000 $11.2
10.  The Secret in Their Eyes $1,950,000 $17.2


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