Mockingjay Beats Out New Releases at Holiday Weekend Box Office

3 minute read

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, now in its second weekend, had two wide releases to compete against this weekend, Penguins of Madagascar and Horrible Bosses 2. But it wasn’t much of a competition at all: Mockingjay grossed $56.9 million, while Penguins brought in less than half that with $25.8 million and Horrible Bosses 2 with $15.7 million.

Mockingjay’s box office success is expected. The film, the third in the Hunger Games series, is part of a wildly popular franchise that younger and older crowds are both interested in thanks to its dark, gritty world and A-list stars ranging from Jennifer Lawrence to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Penguins, on the other hand, is also part of a franchise — but one not quite as beloved, apparently.

See Hunger Games: Mockingjay Stars' Most Memorable Past Roles

Jennifer Lawrence is a household name now thanks to roles like Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games movies, but back in 2010 she was still a relative unknown when she made her breakout performance as Ree Dolly in Winter’s Bone.Lionsgate; Roadside Attractions
Before he brought to life Peeta Mellark from the Hunger Games novels, he played Jesse Aarons from Bridge to Terabithia in the 2007 fantasy film by the same name.Lionsgate; Buena Vista
Liam Hemsworth, aka the real life brother of Thor, plays Katniss’ love interest Gale Hawthorne in the Hunger Games movies and also played a runaway teen named Victor in the 2009 British thriller Triangle. Lionsgate; Icon Film
Woody Harrelson spends his time in the Hunger Games mentoring Katniss as former District 12 victor Haymitch Abernathy, but back in the day he spent his time schooling others in basketball as Billy Hoyle in the 1992 comedy White Men Can’t Jump.Lionsgate; 20th Century Fox
Before she was dressing up victors in the Hunger Games movies as Effie Trinket, Elizabeth Banks was dressed up in scrubs as Dr. Kim Briggs in the long-running television show Scrubs.Lionsgate; NBC
Donald Sutherland may rule Panem with an iron fist, but he showed a much gentler side as Mr. Bennet in the 2005 romance Pride & Prejudice.Lionsgate; Focus Features
Julianne Moore takes on a stark tone as the reserved and stoic President Alma Coin of District 13 in Mockingjay, but in 1998 she played the uninhibited avant-garde artist Maude in The Big Lebowski.Lionsgate; Gramercy Pictures
The late Philip Seymour Hoffman brings his considerable talent to the Hunger Games as the Head Gamemaker turned rebel Plutarch Heavensbee, but years prior, he portrayed the author Truman Capote in the 2005 biopic Capote, a role for which he would win an Oscar for Best Actor.Lionsgate; Sony Pictures Classics
Sam Claflin plays Finnick Odair, the charismatic victor from District 4, and was also William, Snow White’s childhood friend, in the 2012 fantasy film Snow White and the Huntsman.Lionsgate; Universal
Before he was interviewing the Hunger Games victors about the minutiae of their lives as Caesar Flickerman, Stanley Tucci chased the latest in fashion trends as Nigel, the snarky art director of Runway magazine, in the 2006 comedy The Devil Wears Prada.Lionsgate; 20th Century Fox
Jeffrey Wright portrays the genius inventor Beetee in the Hunger Games and also played CIA operative Felix Leiter in the James Bond movies Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.Lionsgate; MGM
Long before he was shooting propaganda films in Mockingjay as Pollux, Elden Henson was shooting pucks back in the 90s as Fulton Reed in the Mighty Ducks trilogy.Lionsgate; Buena Vista
Although Mahershala Ali has to fight the Capitol’s considerable forces as Commander Boggs in Mockingjay, human soldiers should prove much easier after having to face off against aliens in the 2010 sci-fi flick Predators.Lionsgate; 20th Century Fox
Natalie Dormer joins the cast of the Hunger Games as Cressida, a talented propaganda director, in Mockingjay, however, most people will better know her as Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones.Lionsgate; HBO

Big Hero 6‘s mere existence most likely contributed to Penguins’ numbers — many audiences are more drawn to the Disney film than the Dreamworks-made Penguins. Horrible Bosses 2, though, doesn’t have a similar excuse: Its predecessor, Horrible Bosses, opened with $28 million in July 2011 and the sequel was expected to bring in similar numbers, especially because there aren’t many comedies currently in theaters. While the sequel’s $15.7 million opening isn’t terribly weak, it definitely underperformed compared to the first film — and barely made it into the top five.

Big Hero 6 and Interstellar, both movies surrounded by a lot of hype, continue to bring in solid numbers, while Gone Girl finally found itself outside the top five this weekend (the thriller grossed $2.5 million) for the first time since its Oct. 3 release.

1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 – $56.9 million
2. Penguins of Madagascar – $25.8 million (5-day total: $36 million)
3. Big Hero 6 – $18.8 million
4. Interstellar – $15.8 million
5. Horrible Bosses 2 $15.7 million (5-day total: $23 million)

Dumb and Dumber To brought in $8.3 million, down 40 percent from last week’s $13.8 million. The Theory of Everything expanded to 802 theaters this weekend and brought in $5.1 million and Foxcatcher, now in 72 theaters, made $1 million. The Imitation Game opened in just four theaters and made $482,071.

In other box office news, Interstellar continues its successful IMAX run: The Christopher Nolan film has now made $91 million globally from its IMAX screenings — and is now one of the highest grossing IMAX films of all time.

Mockingjay has made $254.4 million internationally, meaning its on track to beat out Catching Fire’s $440 million foreign box office total.

This article originally appeared at

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