APEX Insight: Katniss Everdeen and company go out with a $101 million B.O. bang as the final entry in The Hunger Games saga, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 dominates a crowded pre-holiday weekend.
While most Americans have their minds squarely set on turkey and all the trimmings right now, the only bird that mattered to movie audiences this past weekend was a Mockingjay. Taking in a three finger salute-worthy $101 million, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 easily took the number one spot at the box office despite falling roughly $20 million below Mockingjay – Part 1’s $121 million opening last year at this time. And while some might argue that multi-part sequel fatigue is setting in with film fans, the fact that Mockingjay took in an estimated $146 million on the foreign front bodes well for the title moving into one of the biggest movie-going weekends of the year. So, hang in there Katniss!
Also opening wide with $10.1 million was the cheeky Christmas comedy The Night Before. Written and directed by indie auteur Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, The Wackness), Night marks the onscreen reunion of Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who last appeared together as big-hearted BFFs in Levine’s Golden Globe-nominated cancer dramedy 50/50. Following a group of lifelong friends on a wild, drug-filled night of partying in NYC on Christmas Eve, Night also stars Anthony Mackie as the third part of Rogen and Gordon-Levitt’s unholy trinity.
Filled with hilarious cameos by everyone from James Franco and Mindy Kaling to Miley Cyrus, Night seems poised to give 2011’s A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas a serious run for its money in the stoner Christmas movie of the decade department. Of course any film that features Seth Rogen in an ugly Hanukkah sweater, Tracy Morgan as Santa and a reference to the freaky little girls from The Shining in the trailer definitely has the upper edge in my book.
And finally, opening in fifth place with $6.6 million was The Secret in their Eyes, the English language remake of the acclaimed Argentinian film El Secreto de sus Ojos, which took home the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010. Starring Oscar-winners Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman and 12 Years a Slave’s Oscar-nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor, the hard-hitting crime drama looks to be as gritty, heart-wrenching and twisty as they get. Written and directed by Oscar-nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) who also, ironically enough, co-wrote the first Hunger Games film back in 2012, Eyes seems tailor made for award season kudos, so, keep your eyes on the prize with this one too. And bring lots of Kleenex!
Weekend Box Office Estimates: November 20–22, 2015
|1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2/Lionsgate||$101M|
|3. The Peanuts Movie/Fox||$12.8M/$98.9M|
|4. The Night Before/Sony||$10.1M|
|5. The Secret in their Eyes/STX Entertainment||$6.6M|
|6. Love the Coopers/CBS||$3.9M/$14.9M|
|7. The Martian/Fox||$3.7M/$213M|
|8. Spotlight/Open Road Films||$3.6M/$5.8M|
|9. The 33/Warner Bros.||$2.2M/$9.9M|
|10. Bridge of Spies/Disney||$1.9M/$65.1M|