Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role as Katniss Everdeen in Part 1 of Mockingjay

‘Hunger Games’ tops slow weekend at the box office

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' tops slow weekend at the box office

By Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” continues to dominate the domestic box office, but awards season hopefuls “Wild” and “The Imitation Game” proved their might with impressive limited release showings on this sleepy post-Thanksgiving weekend.

In its third weekend in release, “Mockingjay – Part 1” earned an estimated $21.6 million. Lionsgate’s penultimate chapter in the massively successful franchise has now earned $257.7 million domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday.

And yet, even though “Mockingjay – Part 1” is on track to become the second-highest grossing movie of the year by mid-week, it’s still about $78 million shy of where the previous installment, “Catching Fire,” was in its third weekend just last year.

For Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker Rentrak, this deficit is only concerning for the overall box office, which is down 4.6 per cent for the year. “We are nearing the finish line for 2014 and that is a lot of ground to make up, but luckily we have some big movies on the way,” he says of “Into the Woods,” ”Exodus: Gods and Kings,” ”Annie,” ”Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” and “Unbroken.”

While audiences wait for that fresh fare, some still turned out to catch up with the leftovers. DreamWorks Animation’s “Penguins of Madagascar” took second place with $11.1 million in its second weekend, while the raunchy Warner Bros. comedy “Horrible Bosses 2” claimed third place with $8.6 million. The fourth and fifth place spots went to Disney’s animated “Big Hero 6” and Paramount’s space odyssey “Interstellar,” which earned $8.13 million and $8.0 million respectively.

“The Pyramid,” Fox’s R-rated horror pic, just barely cracked the top 10 in its debut weekend with a less-than-stellar $1.35 million from 589 locations.

“It’s one of those status quo, boring weekends. But it’s not boring in the specialized or indie world,” Dergarabedian said. “For me that’s where the excitement is.”

“Wild,” a Fox Searchlight release starring Reese Witherspoon, opened in 21 theatres Wednesday, earning an estimated $630,000 over three days for a strong $30,000 per-theatre average. The Oscar-winning actress has been getting lots of buzz for her soul-searching turn in the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s bestseller.

The biggest success story of the weekend is The Weinstein Company’s Alan Turing biopic “The Imitation Game,” which took in an estimated $402,000 from eight locations for a stunning $50,250 per-theatre average. Star Benedict Cumberbatch is also expected to be a major contender on the awards circuit this season.

As Dergarabedian puts it: “People wanted to see what the fuss was about and went out in pretty big numbers.”

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” $21.6 million.

2. “Penguins of Madagascar,” $11.1 million.

3. “Horrible Bosses 2,” $8.6 million.

4. “Big Hero 6,” $8.13 million.

5. “Interstellar,” $8.0 million.

6. “Dumb and Dumber To,” $4.17 million.

7. “The Theory of Everything,” $2.67 million.

8. “Gone Girl,” $1.5 million.

9. “The Pyramid,” $1.35 million.

10. “Birdman,” $1.15 million.

___

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

__

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ldbahr.

Just Posted

Canadian students are smart cookies

Canadian teachers also among highest paid in the developed world

Local fundraising initiative addresses tampon recall

Period Posse checking donations during 10-day campaign

Victoria Literacy Connection needs volunteers for new Reading Partner program

The program will be in five Greater Victoria elementary schools

Inspired by her kindergartners, Oak Bay teacher organizes fundraiser

Sally Hallam’s class is creating calendars to help plant trees

VicPD notify public of sexual assault with weapon in Esquimalt

Officers ask residents to be vigilant while investigation continues

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

Cycle Alberni installs memorials to remember teens, remind all about road safety

Most Read