In the Heart of the Sea, Warner Bros.

In the Heart of the Sea, Warner Bros.

APEX Insight: With audiences distracted by holiday parties and last-minute deals at the mall, it was a long, slow weekend at the the box office with Mockingkay just edging out Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea with an estimated $11.3 million to $11 million, respectively.

Fighting the elements, starvation and a vengeful white whale was nothing compared to the epic battle for box office supremacy that In the Heart of the Sea waged this weekend with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Though both films fought hard for audience eyeballs in the last pre-Star Wars weekend of the year, in the end, Mockingjay held onto the top spot for the fourth weekend in a row with $11.3 million, besting Sea‘s $11 million take by an estimated $300K.

Sea scooped up another $39.4 million over the weekend for a worldwide haul of $50.4 million, but it looks like more rough sailing ahead for the embattled crew of the Essex with a certain hotly-anticipated sci-fi title set to decimate everything in its path when it opens on Thursday. So, hang in there sailors. Use the Force!

The Big Short, Paramount Pictures

The Big Short, Paramount Pictures

Also opening in limited release just outside the top ten with $720K on eight screens was director Adam McKay’s comedy-drama about the real-life financial crisis of 2007-2010, The Big Short. Starring Oscar-winners Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Marisa Tomei and former nominees Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, Short was nominated for four Golden Globes last week. Bale was also nominated for a SAG Award as Best Actor on Wednesday and the film received a second SAG nod for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, which has historically proven to be the most accurate predictor of future Oscar glory. And with Short Oscar screeners going out this week as well, expect to hear a lot more about this timely, star-studded dramedy in the weeks to come.

Boy and the World, GKIDS

Boy and the World, GKIDS

Also opening over the weekend with $6.9K on two screens was the acclaimed Brazilian animated film Boy and the World. Since premiering at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in 2013, where it won an honorable mention for Best Animated Feature, Boy has collected a handful of awards at festivals around the world. An intimate story of a boy searching for his father in a strange, vaguely-futuristic land, Boy has no dialogue and tells its story entirely through pan-flute, samba music, Brazilian hip-hop and a kaleidoscope of rich, beautiful imagery.

And though the film has a long way to go if it hopes to compete with animated heavy hitters like Inside Out, Home and Minions, Boy recently made the list of animated films eligible for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, so, samba-fueled hope springs eternal!

Weekend Box Office Estimates: December 11–13, 2015

Title/Studio Weekend/Total Gross
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2/Lionsgate $11.3M/$244.4M
2. In the Heart of the Sea/Warner Bros. $11M
3. The Good Dinosaur/Disney $10.4M/$89.6M
4. Creed/Warner Bros. $10.1M/$79.3M
5. Krampus/Universal $8M/$28.1M
6. Spectre/Sony $4M /$190.7M
7. The Night Before/Sony $3.9M/$38.2M
8. The Peanuts Movie/Fox $2.6M/$124.9M
9. Spotlight/Open Road Films $2.5M/$20.3M
10. Brooklyn/Fox Searchlight $1.9M/$14.3M