Sunday, 1:10AM: Similar to its first two installments, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 eased Saturday from its opening day Friday. This time, however, the third title dipped 23%, a bit better than the 25% slide registered by both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. After a $55M Friday opening (including previews), Mockingjay‘s Saturday looks to croon an estimated $42.1M on its way to a low $120Ms weekend. Saturday sophomore slump is a typical phenomenon with fanboy/fangirl/YA pics like Twilight, Hunger Games and Harry Potter: They’re front-loaded. Everyone rushes out to see them on Thursday and Friday night, and then it declines from there. Scott Bowles will be reporting with Sunday AM figures.
We expounded last night why Mockingjay Part 1, posted the lowest opening to date in the franchise. Again, you can have all studio marketing cylinders firing on cue, the right star alignment and the ideal holiday opening date, but sometimes these big pics dip simply based on their own DNA, and Mockingjay is darker than its predecessors.
What Quidditch games are to Harry Potter films, tropical arena battles are to Hunger Games, and most of the action in Mockingjay takes place in war bunkers and war-torn districts. There’s a lot of discussion of revolution, but no great overhaul.
Not to mention, the cast’s flaming costumes in previous films have been traded here for proletariat Orwellian-like garb (even Elizabeth Banks’ Effie Trinket sacrifices her glamour wigs and cheek rouge for war time). However, think about it story-wise: If the franchise is meant to go out with a bang, it can’t shoot off all its fireworks in its penultimate title.
Mockingjay is trending on Twitter Los Angeles and at a quick glance, some young’uns are upset with the cliffhanger ending. One Twitter fan nicknamed @hungershades tweeted the following photo:
Another statistical phenomenon going on with these splintered feature lit-adaptation finales is that the first part typically logs a lower bow than the second. Again, this is largely based on the two properties that have practiced it to date: Harry Potter and Twilight.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows –Part 1 posted a three-day opening of $125M, 26% lower than the $169.2M opening for Deathly Hallows Part 2. (granted, the latter was boosted by 3D prices, though both were in IMAX).
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1 registered a FSS of $138.1M, just 2% lower than Breaking Dawn 2’s opening weekend of $141.1M. Aside from Mockingjay, everyone else in the top 5 posted higher figures on Saturday over Friday.
Here’s what the top five is looking like, courtesy of Deadline’s B.O. statistician Amanda Nduka:
1). The Hunger Games (LGF), 4,151 theaters / $55M Fri. /$42.1M Sat. (-23%)/ $27.3M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $123-$125M/ Wk 1
Never, ever deny the power of the matinee. Among comps, the film is trailing way behind Pixar’s The Incredibles in its third week (though that had a much larger bow than Big Hero 6, $70.5M to $56.2M). Through its third weekend, however, Big Hero 6 looks to be pulling ahead of DreamWorks Animation’s 2010 Megamind by 24% in its domestic B.O. All November releases, all superhero-themed pics.
It looks to hold thanks to those high-priced IMAX tickets. Rival distribs don’t expect the AMC all-pass promotion to turn on any rocket fuel at the B.O.
4). Dumb and Dumber To (UNI), 3,188 theaters (+34) / $4.3M Fri./ $6.15M Sat. (+43%)/ $3.5M Sun. (-43%)/3-day cume: $14M (-61%)/ Total Cume: $57.1M /Wk 2
It had a great Saturday, but the audience buzz is that the sequel is too similar to the first. If this weekend was hard with an anticipated 61% drop, next weekend is harder, when another raunchy film joins the marketplace, Horrible Bosses 2.
5). Gone Girl (FOX), 1,609 theaters (-350) / $803K Fri. /$1.25M Sat. (+56%) / $647K Sun. (-48%)/ 3-day cume: $2.7M (-41%)/ Total cume: $156.7M / Wk 8