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Weekend Box Office: Mockingjay Threepeats on a Winter Blah Weekend

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By Chris Kavan - 12/07/14 at 11:20 PM CT

Still suffering from some post-Thanksgiving blues, Hollywood apparently decided this wasn't going to be a good weekend and didn't release any new films in wide release. Because of that decision, the top 12 film earned just $70.4 million - tied with the second-lowest weekend of 2014 and down a steep 19% compared to 2013. Thanks to a weaker-than-expected summer, 2014 is still running about 4.6% behind last year in total grosses. While there are still some big films yet to hit theaters, I don't think there is going to be enough out there to make a decided comeback - though 2015 is shaping up to be a massive year, so there is that to look forward to.


For the third straight weekend, The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay - Part 1 was on top of the heap. The film brought in $21.6 million for a new total of $257.7 million. The film dropped 62% - which seems pretty substantial, but was actually an improvement over Catching Fire, which dipped 65% in its third weekend. Still, this film is still trailing Catching Fire by a wide margin, but for 2014, Mockingjay currently stands at fourth place for the year, and will easily leapfrog to the second place spot (behind Guardians of the Galaxy) by next weekend. It is now looking like Mockingjay is going to top out at around $330 million and, who knows, could top Guardians (currently at $332.2 million) to take the top spot for the year. It is also doing well on the international market - $302.8 million and counting with big markets yet to come. It should be able to equal and probably top the $440 million Catching Fire brought in.


Penguins of Madagascar held on to its second-place spot with $11.1 million - dropping 56.4% in its second weekend out. Rise of the Guardians only dipped 44% in its second weekend out and Penguins now is running just $1 million ahead of that disappointing animated offering - and will have to rely on foreign grosses to help get passed its $132 million budget as it now looks like the spinoff film is going to wind up with less than $100 million on the U.S. side of things.


Poster for Horrible Bosses 2 The comedy sequel has earned mixed reviews and audience response, but Horrible Bosses 2 still managed to jump from fifth to third place in its second weekend. It dipped 44% - a surprisingly good hold for not just a comedy (especially given the lackluster response) but for a film in general - even Frozen dipped 50% in its second weekend. But numbers aside, Horrible Bosses 2 took in $8.6 million and now stands at $36.1 million. It will be able to top its $42 million budget, but is looking at a total of just a bit over $50 million.


Disney's latest animated offering is one of the brighter spots coming out of the fall/winter movie season. The super team brought in $8.13 million, raising its total to $177.5 million. The film dipped a much heavier 57% (and dropped a spot in the process) but is still well on its way to top the $200 million mark.


While it may not reach the stratospheric heights of previous Christopher Nolan films, Interstellar has proven to have some better-than-average staying power. Earning another $8 million, the space epic has earned $158.7 million to date. It will be able to blast passed its $165 million budget and should top out above the $175 million mark.

Outside the top five: Horror film They Pyramid had a debut in just 589 theaters (under the 600 wide-release margin) and brought in $1.35 million (9th place). Granted, 20th Century Fox obviously knew they weren't dealing with a major horror hit, so maybe dumping it in a low amount of theaters was the easier option and hoping to make most of its cost back in streaming and foreign markets.

Reece Witherspoon's Wild opened in 21 theaters with $630,000 for a $30,000 per-theater average. While that may not be the most exciting debut ever, it is still an impressive enough result that Wild will expand in the coming weeks.

The week's most impressive-looking film (in terms of average) continued to be The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The Alan Turing biopic brought in $402,000 from eight theaters (up from four last week) for a per-theater average of $50,250. It has earned just over $1 million so far and, should the award season be kind, expect some expansion in the coming weeks.

Now that Hollywood has gotten over the winter blahs, it's kicking back in to high gear. We have the Ridley Scott biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, along with the latest comedy from Chris Rock, Top Five. Hopefully the two films will help breath some life back into the rather anemic box office.


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