‘Hunger Games’ finale fends off spooky ‘Krampus’ flick

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Hunger Games’ finale fends off spooky ‘Krampus’ film.

The “Hunger Games” finale spoiled an early Christmas for the holiday horror comedy “Krampus” to maintain its top spot at the North American box office for the third week running.This photo provided by Lionsgate shows, 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 movie opened in U.S. theaters on Nov. 20, 2015.

The normally slow weekend following Thanksgiving was up 26% from a year ago thanks to the fresh material from Universal, which arrived betweenthe release of two huge franchises— the “Hunger Games” finale and “Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens,” which is due out Dec. 18. The Jennifer Lawrence-led film took in an estimated $18.6 million in the U.S. and Canada, bringing its domestic total to $227 million, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday. The final installment in Lionsgate’s YA film franchise raced past the $500 million mark globally over the weekend, finishing Sunday with a worldwide cume of $523.9 million. It hopes to keep rolling with its franchise film strategy with “Allegiant,” the third film in the “Divergent” series due out in March. “Creed,” the boxing film where Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as Rocky Balboa, came third, and the Disney/Pixar animated tale “The Good Dinosaur” came fourth.

Studios largely steered clear of offering up new releases, with the one major exception being “Krampus,” a darkly comic horror film from Legendary and Universal that picked up a solid US$16 million. Lionsgate and Alcon also saw solid results offshore with Point Break, which debuted to $14.1 million in six Asian markets, including $12.1 million in China. That ranges from director Alejandro Inarritu’s “The Revenant” to the Amy Poehler and Tina Fey-led comedy, “Sisters,” which has knowingly marketed its film with a “Star Wars” parody trailer and the hashtag #youcanseethemboth.

Among other films competing for attention in the coming weeks are: “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” the Will Smith-led football movie “Concussion,” and “Joy,” an underdog tale that reunites stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper with “American Hustle” director David O. From director Ryan Coogler, Creed continued to deliver a strong punch in its second weekend, falling just 48 percent for a domestic total of $65 million through Sunday.

In a failed bid for the faith-based crowd, Freestyle Releasing offered up “The Letters,” a look at the life of Mother Teresa, in 886 theaters, where it grossed an uninspiring US$802,000. Directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat), Krampus stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette and David Koechner and recounts the ancient legend of Krampus, who punishes those who have lost their Christmas spirit.

In limited release, the Weinstein Company opened “MacBeth” in five theaters, where the film adaptation of the “Scottish Play” earned a lackluster US$67,868, for a per-screen average of US$13,573. The movie played best in America’s heartland. “Krampus was relatable to all age groups with exit polls indicating a nearly even audience split under and over the age of 21,” Universal domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou said. “Fact is, the strongest category was moviegoers under 15. 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.

It earned US$1.2 million over 305 screens and is being distributed by Roadside Attractions.Chicago audiences were more receptive, handing the picture a US$15,000-plus per-screen average on 22 screens. “The numbers out of Chicago are phenomenal,” said Bob Berney, Amazon Studios’ marketing and distribution head. “All of this is a testament to the support of the local Chicago community and, across the board, the urgency of the situation. ‘Chi-Raq’ has been recognized as a call to action to stop the violence plaguing cities across the country, not only Chicago.” A flurry of movies opened at the specialty box office as awards season intensifies, including Spike Lee’s well-received Chi-Raq, the first title from Amazon’s original films division. The movie, tackling the issue of gun violence in Chicago, looks to come in No. 13 with $1.3 million from 305 locations for a screen average of $4,092.

It’s unclear how wide Chi-Raq will ultimately play, since many theaters will likely refuse to carry the title since it will be offered relatively quickly on Amazon Prime (an official release date has not been set). Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, starring Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano, fared somewhat better, debuting to an estimated $80,000 from four theaters for a location average of $20,000.

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