Weekend Wrap-Up

Mockingjay 2 Closes The Hunger Games With Its Lowest Open

By John Hamann

November 22, 2015

War isn't usually this pretty.

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The combined Thursday preview/Friday gross for Mockingjay Part 2 came in at an awesome $46 million, $20 million more than what Spectre did on opening day, and exactly what Minions earned over its first day back in July. Minions was able to turn its $46 million Thursday/Friday into a $115.7 million weekend, a number Mockingjay Part 2 would struggle to achieve due to the viewer demographic. Compared to the other films released on this weekend over the last eight years, the opening day combo pales in comparison. Mockingjay Part 1 debuted to $55.1 million, Breaking Dawn Part 2 drew $71.2 million over Thursday/Friday, Breaking Dawn Part 1 did a similar amount, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 earned $61.7 million, Twilight: New Moon earned $72.7 million, and the first Twilight earned $36 million. So, this is a much lower start than its same-weekend brethren, but it’s hard to complain about a $46 million opening day.

Over the rest of the weekend, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 was looking to remain on the same pattern as Mockingjay Part 1, which would push the weekend gross over $100 million. The previous Mockingjay had a Thursday/Friday of $55.1 million and then dropped 26% to $40.9 million on Saturday. Mockingjay Part 2 fell 27% on Saturday to $33.8 million, so it was still on target to hit the opening weekend century mark. On Sunday, the final Hunger Games chapter earned $21.3 million, which pushed the weekend gross to $101 million.


Despite the comparisons to the other blockbusters, this number is still stunning. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is only the 33rd film to open above $100 million. It is also the 31st biggest opening ever, as it settles between Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($100.1 million) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ($102.7 million). The Hunger Games and The Avengers are the only two franchises ever in history to have all of their parts open above $100 million – a statistic that should make Lionsgate proud. Please feel free to stick that stat in the face of the haters that are sure to knock this result.

Throughout its run, The Hunger Games has always achieved success by putting out a quality product and marketing it well. For the fourth consecutive time, the franchise has earned a Cinemascore of either A (which the first two films earned) or A- (which the last two films earned). Reviews are similar to last Mockingjay, with Part 2 currently at 70% fresh, compared to the 68% of Part 1. These films likely could have scored even worse at RottenTomatoes, but still would have been saved by the draw that is Jennifer Lawrence, who is the biggest thing going today. Lawrence has had only one real misstep in the last three or four years, as Serena was her only real turkey. Lawrence is still not done this year, as she has the Christmas release, aptly titled Joy, still to come.

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