Box office report: Mockingjay

22 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Hunger Games: MokingjayLOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mockingjay — Part 2,” the final “Hunger Games” film, soared to a $101 million opening in its first weekend in theaters, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday. Liam Hemsworth, left, as Gale Hawthorne, Sam Clafin, back left, as Finnick Odair, Evan Ross, back right, as Messalia, and Jennifer Lawrence, right, as Katniss Everdeen, in the film, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.” (The Associated Press) “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” dominated the weekend box office with the final film in the science-fiction franchise debuting to $101 million.Friday brought an opening box office haul of $46 million (Dh168.9 million) for the fourth and final instalment in the popular dystopian movie series starring Jennifer Lawrence as the heroine Katniss, according to movie tracking site boxofficemojo.com.

That ranks as the year’s fifth biggest opening, but it wasn’t as big a sendoff for Katniss Everdeen and her fellow revolutionaries as some had predicted. And I’d loved to be involved, absolutely.’ ‘I think that Suzanne created such an iconic character, and I think she’s the main reason why everyone comes back to these stories. MJ2 picks up exactly where its predecessor left off, with Katniss Everdeen (girl on fire Jennifer Lawrence) nursing injuries inflicted upon her by the recently retrieved but still brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). The bad news is, even with a 70% positive rating from critics at aggregate site RottenTomatoes.com and an A- grade from CinemaScore audiences, the series closer had the weakest debut of the bunch.

As rebel forces ready themselves for the last battle with President Snow (the silver-tongued Donald Sutherland), Julianne Moore’s Alma Coin starts to look less like a liberator than an ice queen in waiting, leaving Katniss wondering what – and for whom – she is fighting. Despite an attempt to bring the spirit of the games on to the battlefield (marauding House of the Dead-style “mutts” and contrived booby-trapped battlefields), the brilliantly brutal gladiatorial narrative that first drove the Hunger Games series now seems a distant memory.

The second Mockingjay might not have reached expectations for a franchise that has rung up more than $2 billion worldwide, but it’s nothing to sniff at, says Rentrak senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. Splitting this third instalment into two movies was always going to cause pacing problems, yet MJ1 somehow managed to make a didactic virtue of its discursive nature.

Here, the balance between action and exposition feels more forced, exacerbating rather than solving the dramatic problems of Suzanne Collins’s source novel. (At least the final screen instalment of Twilight achieved a level of bonkers preposterousness to ease us through its chaotic conclusion.) On the plus side, there are some complex ideas about power and corruption at play, and it’s good to see this final instalment refusing to sell out either its role model heroine or its darkly dystopian sociopolitical themes. For this movie, it’s more of a marathon run.” Opening right before Thanksgiving also presents an interesting dynamic for the film, he adds. “It sets you up for a great second weekend because people have a lot more time to go out.” The James Bond film Spectre and family-friendly The Peanuts Movie, which have anchored the top two spots the last two weeks, were No. 2 and No. 3 with $14.6 million and $12.8 million respectively. Whatever its faults, this remains light years ahead of the Insurgent/Maze Runner film franchises, which have so far failed to steal The Hunger Games’s thunder. The film cost $23 million to make. “The Secret In Their Eyes” wasn’t able to muscle through, with the remake of an acclaimed Argentinian thriller of the same name earning a disappointing $6.6 million for a fifth place finish. It cost $19.5 million to produce, and is the latest in a string of adult driven films such as “By the Sea” and “Steve Jobs,” to struggle at the box office this fall.

Todd Haynes’ drama Carol, with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as 1950s lovers, opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles and raked in $248,000. STX, which bought domestic rights with Route One for $6.5 million, expressed confidence that the film would find its audience over the Thanksgiving period. “We feel this is too early in the process to give us a full grade,” said Kevin Grayson, distribution chief at STX. “This is going to factor into the Thanksgiving play period, and the twists and surprise ending are going to keep water cooler conversation going.” The weakness of the new films allowed holdovers “Spectre” and “The Peanuts Movie” to pad their box office results.

With this weekend down 11 percent from last year, it remains to be seen whether 2015 will indeed be a record-breaking $11-billion year as many predicted at the outset. The journalism drama expanded from three to 20 markets and made $3.6 million — good enough for eighth place overall. “We are in the thick of awards season and if you’re a moviegoer over 30, over 40, over 50,” Dergarabedian says, “you have so many choices,” especially with other acclaimed movies continuing to expanding nationally such as Suffragette, Room and Trumbo.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC. Add to all that new Rocky movie Creed, Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur and Victor Frankenstein opening wide Wednesday — and The Danish Girl following in limited release Friday — and “it’s one of the most crowded marketplaces I’ve ever seen,” Dergarabedian figures. “Hopefully over the five-day weekend people will catch up on their movies.”

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