Lionsgate Stock Down Slightly After Final ‘Hunger Games’ Debut, Analysts Weigh In

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Mockingjay — Part 2,’ final ‘Hunger Games’ film, opens to $10 million, a franchise low.

LOS ANGELES — “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. For most films, the figure would be a coup, but the latest chapter of “The Hunger Games” collected the lowest opening take among the four films in the series. 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). 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. Other new openers include the Seth Rogen comedy “The Night Before,” which took fourth place with $10.1 million, and “The Secret in Their Eyes.” The Julia Roberts thriller earned only $6.6 million. 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 overall franchise has grossed over $2 billion worldwide and counting,” said David Spitz, co-president of theatrical distribution for Lionsgate. “It’s a pretty phenomenal result.” Dergarabedian attributes the showing to a down marketplace.

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. Just two weekends ago, “Spectre,” which fell to second place this week with $14.6 million, failed to live up to the domestic opening of “Skyfall,” the previous James Bond film. 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.

With the weekend box office down 11 percent from last year, it remains to be seen whether 2015 will indeed become a record-breaking $11 billion year as many predicted at the outset.

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