Follow Us on Twitter

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 opens to series low $101 million in US

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Story by Jack Foley

THE final film in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 2 has opened to a franchise-low $101 million in the US.

World-wide, the film took a total of $247 million but again failed to beat the $274.9 million worldwide start of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which opened on the same weekend a year ago.

In the US, Mockingjay 2‘s debut fell some 17% below the $121.9 million opening of Mockingjay – Part 1 and 36% from the franchise-best $158 million of sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire two years ago.

But while certainly below pre-weekend expectations, the $100 million plus debut was still welcomed by distributing studio Lionsgate, whose domestic distribution executive David Spitz told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s a pretty unbelievable achievement any time you have a movie that results in a $100 million-plus opening, which has only happened 34 times in our business.”

Internationally, the film can lay claim to the biggest day-and-date release of the year to date and the widest in Lionsgate’s history, with a whopping $146 million. Leading the way was the UK, where it shot to the top spot at the box office with $17.1 million.

Mockingjay – Part 2 follows Jennifer Lawrence’s crusading heroine Katniss Everdeen as she fights against the corrupt government of Panem and its ruthless leader, President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

Of the weekend’s other major new releases, holiday comedy The Night Before, starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie, also opened below expectations with $10 million for a fourth-placed finish behind Mockingjay 2, James Bond movie Spectre (which took $14.5 million) and family animation The Peanuts Movie ($12.8 million).

The comedy follows three friends who reunite for their traditional Christmas Eve party-going in New York City.

The third new release, Secret in Their Eyes, starring Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Efjiofor and Nicole Kidman, opened to an estimated $6.6 million to mark the worst start of Roberts’ career for a film opening in 2,000 or more cinemas.

A remake of the 2010 Argentinian thriller of the same name, which won an Oscar for best foreign language film, Bill Ray’s film follows a DA investigator (Roberts) whose life is upended when her daughter is murdered.

Two colleagues, an FBI investigator (Ejiofor) and a prosecutor (Kidman), come to her aid but the killer eludes justice until, more than a decade later, a new lead is uncovered and the trio vow to avenge the crime.

Two more new releases of note, however, were the awards-tipped lesbian drama Carol, which performed well in specialty release with a weekend gross of $248,149, and Tom Hardy’s Krays’ drama Legend, which took $83,000 for a location average of $20,271 (from just four cinemas in LA and New York).

The film has already been a huge box office hit in the UK, where it has amassed more than $28 million.

Next story: Kenneth Branagh to direct and star in Murder on The Orient Express