This weekend, Katniss was the ruler again as the franchise ender The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 remained at number one over the session following the Thanksgiving holiday frame which typically sees multiplex spending get cut in half. The Lionsgate hit grossed an estimated $18.6M falling a steep 64%. That puts it in between the 65% of 2013’s Catching Fire and the 61% of last year’s Mockingjay Part 1. All were in their third weekend at this time.
The final Panem pic has brought in $227.1M which is down 12% from where last year’s chapter was at the same point. Current trajectory puts it on course for a domestic final of about $295M, although it would not be surprising if Lionsgate gives it an extra push over the holidays to bump it into triple-century territory. Both Mockingjay sequels have grossed less than their predecessor.
The international arena is a bit brighter thanks in part to China opening earlier than last time. This weekend collected an estimated $32.4M overseas to boost the offshore cume to $296.8M and the worldwide tally to $523.9M.
Universal found a nice hit with its new horror-comedy Krampus which debuted above expectations in second place with an estimated $16M from 2,902 locations for a solid $5,520 average. The PG-13 film earned decent reviews and offered a unique mix of scares and laughs in a Christmas setting which moviegoers responded to. Krampus is the first film in ten years to open on the normally sluggish weekend after the Thanksgiving frame and debut north of $10M. Usually studios either skip opening any major films on this session, or program in titles that open to about $5M or so.
Studio exit polls showed that the film played younger and had plenty of cross-gender appeal. 51% were under 21 while males and females were evenly split. Ethnic appeal helped too as 62% of the audience was non-white. The CinemaScore grade was a B- which is pretty good for a scary movie. Krampus cost only $15M to produce.
Two Thanksgiving weekend openers tied for third place with an estimated $15.5M each. Final numbers to be reported on Monday will determine the final chart order. Regardless, the boxing drama Creed had a terrific hold dropping 48% which is superb for a franchise film coming off of a holiday frame. Strong word of mouth is allowing the Warner Bros.-MGM pic to grow beyond its older male base. With a strong $65.1M to date, Creed will surpass the $70.3M of 2006’s Rocky Balboa by this Friday on its way to becoming the first $100M+ grosser for the popular franchise in 30 years.
In a virtual tie for third was Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur which fell 60% to an estimated $15.5M as well in its second weekend. That was a larger post-turkey decline than recent Thanksgiving toons from Disney like Frozen (53%) and Tangled (56%). After 12 days, Dinosaur‘s cume is just $76M. Pixar’s last two films Inside Out and Monsters University made more than that in just their first three days. At its current pace, The Good Dinosaur is on track to finish its domestic run with about $160M which would beat 1998’s A Bug’s Life to become the lowest-grossing Pixar movie ever.
International markets have collected $55.4M for a global gross of $131.4M. The animation studio is going back to sequels (and summer) with its upcoming films being Finding Dory next June and Cars 3 in June 2017. Also on the calendar later on are Toy Story 4 in June 2018 and The Incredibles 2 in June 2019.
Still in the top five in its fifth weekend was the James Bond film Spectre with an estimated $5.4M, down 58%, for a $184.5M total. It’s currently running 29% behind Skyfall which had banked $261.4M at the same point in 2012, while the global tally has climbed past $790M.
The holiday comedy The Night Before enjoyed a good hold dipping only 41% to an estimated $4.9M boosting the total to $32M for Sony. The far more tame comedy The Peanuts Movie followed with an estimated $3.5M dropping 64% from Thanksgiving. Fox’s sum is now $121.4M.
The priest molestation drama Spotlight has been generating plenty of awards buzz which is helping it at the box office. Adding a few more screens, the Open Road release held up very well with an estimated $2.9M from 980 locations for a $2,987 average. The steady expansion has been executed brilliantly and there is plenty of potential ahead as more end of year awards and nominations come out. Cume stands at $16.6M.
Also faring well with arthouse audiences is Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn which declined 38% and grossed an estimated $2.4M bumping the total up to $11.2M. Rounding out the top ten was The Secret In Their Eyes with an estimated $2M, off 56%, for a $17.2M sum for STX.
Opening in platform release was Fox Searchlight’s Youth with an estimated $80,000 from four houses for a $20,000 average in New York and Los Angeles. Starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Jane Fonda, the R-rated pic earned generally positive reviews and hopes to grow across December’s crowded specialty marketplace as more awards contenders arrive every week.
Among specialty holdovers staying put in four theaters, Carol grossed an estimated $147,000 this weekend (down 26%) after winning best picture, director, screenplay, and cinematography from the New York Film Critics Circle. The Weinstein Co. release averaged a solid $36,750 and has a total of $817,000. Focus saw a 43% fall for The Danish Girl which averaged $26,500 with a weekend estimate of $106,000. Cume is $352,000 and Friday sees an expansion to 23 theaters as it debuts in seven new markets.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $86.8M which was up 28% from last year when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 stayed at number one with $22M; and up 4% from 2013 when Frozen rose to the top spot with $31.6M.
Compared to projections, Krampus opened ahead of my $9M forecast.