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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

Crews disassemble the iconic red and white KFC bucket from a sign on Goldstream Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Mark Schoor)
Iconic KFC bucket removed from Goldstream Avenue

Popular fast-food chain closes Langford location

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Most Read