The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 predictably topped this weekend’s box office — but less predictably didn’t do as well as the previous films in the franchise.
The previous Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, also opened on the weekend before Thanksgiving, but ended its weekend with $158 million. Mockingjay, though, grossed $123 million. Compared to $158 million, and to the original Hunger Games’ $152.5 million opening in 2012, $123 million is disappointing. But in the context of 2014, it’s amazing: Mockingjay had a stronger opening than any other film this year, beating out Transformers: Age of Extinction’s $100 million debut.
And while Catching Fire’s domestic opening beat Mockingjay’s, Mockingjay takes the prize for foreign totals: Lionsgate premiered the film in 85 international markets this weekend and made an estimated $152 million in those markets — four percent more than the $146 million Catching Fire brought in internationally its opening weekend.
As for the rest of the top five, Disney’s Big Hero 6 stayed at the number two spot with $20.1 million while Interstellar trailed behind with $15.1 million. Big Hero 6 didn’t experience too big of a drop from last week’s $34.7 million, but Interstellar’s gross declined by 46 percent, perhaps because its action-loving audience were too busy seeing Mockingjay to journey to space for a few hours.
Dumb and Dumber To went from topping the box office last weekend to falling to the number four spot this time around with $13.8 million — that’s a 62 percent decrease, showing that Dumb and Dumber To’s audience isn’t a reliable one. But Gone Girl proved the opposite: The thriller spent its eighth consecutive weekend in the top five, making $2.8 million.
Outside the top five, The Theory of Everything added about 100 locations, bringing its theater total to 140 and grossed $1.5 million. Birdman added just five locations and brought in $1.9 million — not as strong as last weekend’s $2.5 million, but not bad.