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

Victoria police seek public’s help finding man missing more than a week

Joel Diment 26 and has short brown hair and hazel eyes

Greater Victoria donates 166 tents, 240 sleeping bags and more for those in need

Items placed in 72-hour quarantine before being distributed to help homeless self-isolate

UVic closes Finnerty Gardens and popular dog park Cedar Corner

Regular dog walkers to Cedar Corner sent elsewhere during pandemic

Victoria to consider new appeals process for rejected short-term rental applications

There is not an established process in place for people seeking to reapply

No one injured in Saanich townhouse fire

Blaze may have been connected to fireplace use

COVID-19: B.C. reports 4 deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Comox spring training cancelled for Snowbirds next month

The team announced that due to ongoing travel restrictions they will not be training in the Valley

Some Cowichan schools to reopen for children of essential-services workers

Cowichan Valley will open 8 elementary schools this week

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

Physiotherapists turn to technology to reach patients during COVID-19

Just because services, jobs, and socializing have been put on hold, it… Continue reading

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

Most Read