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article image'Mockingjay' wins but not in the same league as 'Catching Fire'

By Tim O'Brien     Nov 23, 2014 in Entertainment
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" was even less of a winner that was noted, as often happens when a win that big occurs. It needs to settle in, and this time, it came in with a lower number, and that is not a good sign.
It took in $121.89 million instead of $123 million. That makes it noteworthy as it moves the totals more than the usual.
EARLIER: It didn't quite live up to the hype and expectations but "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" easily took the box office crown.
It was also the best opening of the year, domestically, as it scored a huge $123 million. Earlier this year, "Transformers 4" opened to $100 million. However, with Jennifer Lawrence back as Katniss and a stellar supporting cast, the latest "Hunger Games" could not match the previous two openings.
That will disappoint some, but come on, $123 million is nothing to sneeze at. It was not in 3D and IMAX stayed with "Interstellar," so that needs to be noted here. Perhaps the real reason it did not do quite as well is that it was not as well-received as "Catching Fire." The expectations were higher for this one and living up to them is never easy. "Mockingjay" opened strong on Friday ($55 million) and then tired out on a long Saturday.
Overseas it won easily as well to the tune $152 million and stands at $275 million, worldwide. The Wrap noted that the audience for the latest installment was mostly female, at 60 percent. Of that number, 52 percent under the age of 25. The last film grabbed the male audience and this one, well, did not to that extent.
It is also not the climax for the film and the middle ones of a series do have a tendency to drag. Then there is that nasty weather in part of the country. But, it did not even make the low projections going which was around $130 million. The high end had it around $150 million, so, yes it under-performed. Perhaps it was boring for many movie-goers too, as it sets the stage for the next one.
Weekend Updated 11.24.14
1. "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" - $121.89 million
2. "Big Hero 6" - $20.6 million
3. "Interstellar" - $15.1 million
4. "Dumb and Dumber To" - $13.8 million
The animated "Big Hero 6" stayed solid in second place with $20.6 million. "Interstellar" and "Dumb and Dumber To" followed.
That usual 50 percent for the second week out for last week's winner, "Dumb and Dumber To" was much bigger than that and it went splat and loaded its audience in the first weekend.
With an under-achieving "Mockingjay" taking the box office into Thanksgiving, it may not bode well for the overall box office. "Penguins of Madagascar" and "Horrible Bosses 2" lead the charge on Wednesday, while "The Imitation Game" opens in four theaters Thursday and expands on Friday. The latter not looking at huge numbers, as that will be reserved Penguins of Madagascar." Do not look for stellar number for "Horrible Bosses 2" either.
The bank and the bets were for "Mockingjay" to take the box office into the holiday, as it should still do just that. "The Imitation Games" has Benedict Cumberbatch and a possible Oscar actor bid to watch, plus it is Oscar best picture bait. That means it will play well in certain locales and not so much in those small town venues.
It will be crowded at the box office as the end of the year glut is here, too. Meanwhile, other Oscar hopefuls scramble to meet the deadline and get released before the end of the year.
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