Weekend Box Office: Mockingjay Leads Quiet Weekend

With holiday activities in full swing, those who ventured out to the North American box office this weekend feasted on cinematic leftovers as Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One remained in the number one position for a third straight week. The post-Thanksgiving frame is usually a quiet one as the studios opt not to release anything of note. Fox did open their horror feature The Pyramid in 589 theaters, which was largely ignored.

This weekend’s top ten was the second worst of 2014, right behind the post-Labor Day frame. It was down 55% from last weekend and 19% from last year at this time when Frozen climbed into the number one spot with a $31 million haul.

While it may continue to lag behind its predecessors, Mockingjay Part One did something that Catching Fire could not do: stay at number one for three weeks straight. Part three of the Katniss saga fell 62% to earn an estimated $21.6 million from 4,054 screens. Its domestic total stands at $257.7 million. The film should finish Stateside with approximately $320 million, roughly 25% lower than Catching Fire’s $424 million. Overseas, the movie has earned $302 million thus far.

Fox/Dreamworks’ Penguins of Madagascar held onto second place in its sophomore session. The Madagascar spin-off dropped 56% to earn an estimated $11.1 million on 3,775 screens. After ten days the animated feature has earned $49.5 million and is heading toward a final domestic haul near $85 million. Foreign totals currently stand at $69.3 million.

After debuting to mediocre numbers over the holiday weekend Warners comedy sequel Horrible Bosses 2 held up reasonably well in its second go around on 3,400 screens. Easing 44% the film earned an estimated $8.6 million to bring its total to $36 million. The final domestic haul should be around the $60 million mark, roughly a little less than half of what the original earned three years ago. Overseas, the Jason Bateman comedy has pulled in $11 million thus far.

Working its way to the $200 million mark is Disney’s Big Hero 6 with $8.1 million from 3,168 theaters, which was good enough to land in fourth place. After five weeks, Baymax has saved a solid $177.5 million thus far. With a boost from the upcoming holiday frame Hero 6 should wind down with about $215 million in the bank. Foreign totals thus far stand at $63 million.

Rounding out the top five is another early November blockbuster, Paramount’s Interstellar with an estimated $8 million from 3,028 theaters. Down 49% from the holiday frame, Interstellar’s domestic total stands at $158.6 million and could conclude its mission with $185 million. The movie has earned a whopping 71% of its $553 million global total from overseas markets.

The sole new arrival in the top ten, Fox’s horror flick The Pyramid, earned an embarrassing $1.5 million from 589 screens. The film was slammed by critics, who gave the dud an 8% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as ticket buyers who obviously had better things to do with their time and money. One has to wonder why Fox decided to open a horror film in the first week of December instead of…oh…October?

Fox had better luck through their Searchlight division with its platform release of the acclaimed Reese Witherspoon drama Wild. The latest feature from the director of Dallas Buyers Club scored a strong 92% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, which undoubtedly helped the film earn a great $630,000 from just 21 theaters. The film will slowly roll out throughout December prior to going nationwide in January, most likely around the same time Reese scores a Best Actress nomination for her performance.

The remainder of the top ten was as follows:

6. Dumb and Dumber To (Universal) $4.1 million (-50%); $78 million

7. The Theory of Everything (Focus) $2.6 million (-47%); $13.6 million

8. Gone Girl (Fox) $1.5 million (-39%); $162.8 million

10. Birdman (Fox Searchlight) $1.1 million (-39%); $18.9 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of Fox’s Exodus: Gods and Kings, the acclaimed Chris Rock comedy Top Five and in limited release the great Paul Thomas Anderson comedy Inherent Vice. Ridley Scott’s biblical epic should have no problem opening at number one.

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