‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2′ Opens To $101 Million, Franchise Low

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Final ‘Hunger Games’ film earns series-worst $101M in U.S. opening weekend.

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 opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 20, 2015. Although it is a series-low, “Mockingjay — Part 2” had the fifth biggest opening weekend of the year and is the fifth to come in with more than $100 million in its first three days.

The final installment is the lowest opener of the four Hunger Games films, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and debuted with $20 million less than Mockingjay – Part 1 that was released on the same weekend a year ago. But this is about “The Hunger Games,” the epic heart-wrenching action series that made Jennifer Lawrence a household name, made us wish our dresses could light on fire, and in the spirit of all spot-on book-to-film adaptions, made reading cool again (at least for a little while). But it failed to meet the income of its predecessor, “Mockingjay, Part 1,” which opened at $121.9 million, according to ticket sales tracker Rentrak.

The fourth Hunger Games film starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth had been expected to bow with at least the same gross as the 2014 film, that opened with $121.9 million. It helped launch Jennifer Lawrence into superstardom, as the film was the most financially successful for a movie featuring a female lead. “Remember that line from the first ‘Hunger Games’ film: ‘May the odds be ever in your favor’? Lionsgate split the final book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy into two films, following the precedent of Twilight and Harry Potter whose box office peaked with the final installments.

Nevertheless, the Hunger Games movie franchise, based on a trio of best-selling young adult fantasy novels by Suzanne Collins, had already grossed some $2.2 billion worldwide before the latest opening, according to Lionsgate, the studio that produced the films. Lionsgate’s domestic distribution chief David Spitz was upbeat, telling Variety: ‘It’s a phenomenal opening and we launched these movies at this time consciously knowing there’d be a lucrative long run way through the holidays.’ Julia Roberts’ remake of the Argentinean Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar winner severely disappointed in its wide release, failing to interest the movie-going public. The books and the movies tell the story of Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence), a teenage heroine pitched into a deadly battle for survival in a macabre dystopian world. The actress starred with Nicole Kidman and British actor Chiwetel Efjiofor in the dark thriller about a FBI Agent whose daughter is murdered and who seek revenge when a clue to who did it surfaces years later.

This obvious ploy by the money-making gurus to capitalize on our attachment usually works. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2″ eclipsed “Part 1,” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ beat its “Part 1″ by more than $44 million, making it the biggest opening in history at the time. (It has since dropped to fifth place.) But here’s where this series differed from the worlds of vampires and wizards: It doesn’t exactly have a happy ending, or an ending of immense action. The controversial character — a long-haired, androgynous model named “All” played by Benedict Cumberbatch — was introduced in a new trailer last week. In its third week, Sony Pictures’ SNE, +0.11% “Spectre” dropped to No. 2 at the box office, earning $14.6 million, which puts its domestic total at $153.7 million.

In “Harry Potter,” the final movie is an all-out battle between the good and evil wizards, complete with edge-of-your-seat action and a few laugh-out-loud quips amid the chaos. A bevy of people are offended by the character’s outlandish representation of the transgender community, with many of them signing an online petition to boycott the movie. “Cumberbatch’s character is clearly portrayed as an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals,” wrote the petition’s creator, Sarah Rose. In limited release, the lesbian period drama Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, opened in four theatres in New York and Los Angeles and performed well. The online plea also questioned the movie’s decision to cast Cumberbatch instead of an actor who is actually non-binary, meaning they don’t necessarily identify as male or female. “By hiring a (non-trans) actor to play a non-binary individual in a clearly negative way, the film endorses harmful and dangerous perceptions of the queer community at large,” Rose wrote. “Really wanted to like the Zoolander 2 trailer but the seemingly transphobic Benedict Cumberbatch character left a bad taste,” tweeted a user named Joel Jessup. Sony’s R-rated holiday comedy “The Night Before,” starring Seth Rogen; Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie, finished the weekend with $10.1 million, enough for the No. 4 spot in its box office debut.

By staying dutiful to the book, as author Suzanne Collins promised, the movie wasn’t full of the dramatic teen vs. teen battles that comprised the first two films. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend next week will welcome the latest installment in the “Rocky” franchise, with Time Warner Inc.-owned TWX, -0.37% Warner Bros.’ release of “Creed,” starring Michael B.

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