Review: Mockingjay Part Two Takes a Cue From The Books and Stumbles Across The …

21 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box Office: ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’ Aims for $102 Million Weekend.

The final chapter in the “Hunger Games” saga, “Mockingjay — Part 2,” is on track to hit a $102 million bullseye in its opening weekend, based on Friday receipts. The Hunger Games franchise has finally come to an end with Mockingjay Part 2, which covers roughly the second half of the final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay. The fourth installment in the Jennifer Lawrence-led series hit a total of $46 million Friday at 4,175 locations, handily topping all other titles at the box office. The feeling that washes over you as the credits roll is less in line with the triumphant end of an action movie than some war epic like “Saving Private Ryan.” And that’s weird, considering (a) the franchise is targeted at teen girls and (b) the movie ended with our hero, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), winning the battle against President Snow and dismantling his grotesque dictatorship. Here’s what director Francis Lawrence told USA TODAY about it: “When you actually have the person there and they appear in the scene, you make something of it — there would be more of (Hoffman’s) presence …

The ideas for the scene were Phil’s, but he never got to say the lines.” Effie is a bigger presence in both Mockingjays in general, which was kind of expected given Elizabeth Banks’ performance (in the book, she is completely absent until the very end when she ushers Katniss to Snow’s execution, which is not much for Banks to do). The Daniel Craig starrer from EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sony, should cross $150 million in domestic receipts by the end of the weekend.

Fox release “Peanuts,” another holdover, will finish behind “Spectre,” having pulled in just shy of $3 million en route to a weekend haul of $12 million. No mention is made to a relationship at any other point, so potentially it was just a recognition of the chemistry Banks and Woody Harrelson have developed over four movies. In the book, when Katniss wants to go to the Capitol to join the fight and end the revolution, Coin flatly denies her because she is not a trained soldier. STX’s “The Secret in Their Eyes” pulled in $2.3 million Friday night and should accumulate around $7 million over its first three days in 2,392 locations, a soft opening despite the star power of Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

But, whether through offbeat exchanges between friends and love interests or quippy one-liners, the mood in most movies occasionally lightens. “Hunger Games” isn’t that kind of movie. Granted, she has a lot on her mind, between getting strangled by her fiance, being chased by mutts and hatching a plan to assassinate the dictator-to-be.

But even during the last scene, after life has settled down and she’s back in District 12 with two kids and a husband, she still seems weighed down by the horrors of the past. Katniss makes a huge case in the movie for the protection of civilians, especially as the rebels cause the avalanche in District 2 and Gale’s traps kill so many children (Priiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim!).

After Coin suggests doing another Hunger Games with the children of the Capitol, Katniss kills her instead of Snow, is locked up by the rebels, sent to exile back in 12 where she rehabilitates and eventually marries Peeta and has children. So when bombs annihilate a large crowd, we’re not inoculated from the pain the way we are while watching “John Wick.” The blast makes an emotional impact. She’s not one for baby talk, though, and rather than cooing sweet sentiments to her offspring, she talks about the nightmares she can’t seem to shake.

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