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article image'Mockingjay' makes it look easy while 'Wild' opens very solid

By Tim O'Brien     Dec 7, 2014 in Entertainment
The holiday season proved too much as it helped derail any hopes of momentum at the box office. But, the box office needs some right now.
Since there were no blockbusters released over Thanksgiving as holdover "Mockingjay" was crushing the competition, hopes now rest on the remaining weeks of the year.
When "Horrible Bosses 2" can finish third with its weak returns, then it is time to admit that the box office is indeed weak. "Penguins of Madagascar" is not in the same conversation as other animated film releases this year, like "The LEGO Movie."v But wait, everybody loves those penguins, right? That may the case but a bad movie is a bad movie, and those families stayed away from this one, for the most part. Holiday activities take the families away this time of the year.
Add in college football and their conference championships, and bowl match-ups, then it spells doom.
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" keeps its title and remains number one for the third time, and it was easy. Perhaps it was too easy for them. Last year, "Catching Fire" had "Frozen" to fend off and that provided a healthy box office, overall.
The latest in "The Hunger Games" series brought in $67 million from overseas, noted The Wrap. Its global total now in an impressive $560.5 million.
The only new not-so wide released was "The Pyramid." It finished ninth with $1.3 million. It was a found-footage horror film. Perhaps found-footage is a style that has run its course.
1. "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" - $21.6 million
2. "Penguins of Madagascar" - $11.1 million
3. "Horrible Bosses 2" - $8.6 million
4. "Big Hero 6" - $8.1 million
5. "Interstellar" - $8 million
One solid item to report is the per screen average for Reese Witherspoon's "Wild." It grossed a robust $630,000 with 21 theaters. That is a healthy $30,000 per screen average. The Oscar winner is headed for another best actress nomination.
Even though "Mockingjay" is not in the same league as "Catching Fire," that will not matter when all is said and done. It is big and may end up passing "Guardian of the Galaxy" for the year''s biggest grosser. Any time now it will pass "The LEGO Movie" for third.
It will also pass "Captain America: The Winter Solider" very soon, leaving only "Guardians of the Galaxy" in its sights, as far as domestic box office is concerned.
But, many theaters are hoping to reap the benefits of "The Hobbit: The Battle for the Five Armies." Yes, these films are big, but they have staying power and often lead to success over time. Many theaters need to grab big bucks right away and cannot wait for it to reap rewards by keeping it for five weeks.
More about The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1, mockingjay, Wild, Reese witherspoon, Oscars
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