Weekend Box Office: EXODUS Reigns on Quiet Pre-Holiday Frame

by     Posted One week ago

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As expected, Exodus: Gods and Kings easily claimed first place this weekend.  The biblical epic earned an estimated $24.5 million from 3,503 locations – on track with studio expectations for the Ridley Scott feature.  Exodus also sent Mockingjay- Part 1 into second place for the first time in its three-week run.  You shouldn’t feel too bad for Katniss, though.  Not only has the penultimate chapter in The Hunger Games franchise earned over $610 million worldwide in just 24 days, it also now ranks as the second highest-grossing domestic release of 2014 – behind only Guardians of the Galaxy.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Exodus: Gods & Kings $24,500,000 $24.5
2.  Mockingjay – Part 1 $13,200,000 $277.8
3.  Penguins of Madagascar $7,300,000 $58.8
4.  Top Five $7,210,000 $7.2
5.  Big Hero 6 $6,145,000 $185.3
6.  Interstellar $5,500,000 $166.8
7.  Horrible Bosses 2 $4,630,000 $43.6
8.  Dumb and Dumber To $2,757,000 $82.1
9.  The Theory of Everything $2,525,000 $17.1
10.  Wild $1,500,000 $2.43

 

Full story after the jump.

Friday Box Office: EXODUS Unseats MOCKINGJAY PART 1 with $8.6 Million

by     Posted 8 days ago

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After three consecutive frames on top of the domestic box office, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 will make room for a new number one feature this weekend.  Exodus: Gods and Kings took in an estimated $8.6 million from 3,053 locations on Friday and will rule the first weekend of the 2014 holiday season with a projected $25 million.  That’s right in line with expectations for director Ridley Scott’s biblical epic, which has already earned more than $32 million from its initial overseas engagements.

Full story after the jump.

Box Office: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Stays on Top; Passes $225 Million Domestic

by     Posted 21 days ago

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If last weekend’s box office debut of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was a tad underwhelming, it made up some ground with a big Thanksgiving haul.  The sequel took in an estimated $56.8 million for the three-day weekend and brought its domestic total above $225 million after twelve days.  That left only table scraps for this weekend’s box office newcomers.  The Penguins of Madagascar came in second with an estimated $25.8 million while Horrible Bosses 2 opened way back in fifth place with $15.7 million.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Mockingjay – Part 1 $56,875,000 $225.7
2.  Penguins of Madagascar $25,800,000 $36
3.  Big Hero 6 $18,770,000 $167.2
4.  Interstellar $15,800,000 $147
5.  Horrible Bosses 2 $15,700,000 $23
6.  Dumb and Dumber To $8,295,000 $72.2
7.  The Theory of Everything $5,082,000 $9.6
8.  Gone Girl $2,470,000 $160.7
9.  Birdman $1,880,000 $17.2
10.  St. Vincent $1,773,000 $39.3

 

Full story after the jump.

Friday Box Office: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 Soars Over New Thanksgiving Releases

by     Posted 22 days ago

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The 2014 Thanksgiving box office won’t set any new records, but the complete domination of Mockingjay – Part 1 will at least prove that there’s a lot of life left in The Hunger Games franchise.  After opening more than 20% below Catching Fire last weekend, the penultimate chapter in the saga of Katniss Everdeen had no trouble staying ahead of Thanksgiving’s new releases: The Penguins of Madagascar and Horrible Bosses 2.   Both opened on Wednesday, though the two films combined didn’t come close to Mockingjay – Part 1’s $49.7 million estimate for the first three days of the long holiday frame.  As expected, Katniss cleaned up on Black Friday with an estimated $24.1 million, or a drop of 56% from the film’s opening one week ago.

Full story after the jump.

THE COLLISION: Episode 113 – THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1

by     Posted 25 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we take a look at The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  We discuss how it differs from the first two films, the growing legacy of the series, where it fits in with current franchises, how it compares to the book, and much more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Birdman and Foxcatcher“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg, @AdamChitwood, and @PNemiroff.

Book to Screen: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Is Better than the Book

by     Posted 26 days ago

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If you’ve read the third book of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, you’re well aware that Mockingjay has problems and is undoubtedly the most difficult book of the series to bring to screen.  Whereas The Hunger Games and Catching Fire had the benefit of following the clear-cut chain of events involved in the Hunger Games, Mockingjay is more of a free-for-all.  Katniss is holed up in District 13, the Hunger Games are a thing of the past and now it’s just about the rebels trying to figure out how to get an edge on President Snow and the Capitol.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that narrative, but for folks who’ve enjoyed the spectacle and structure of the Hunger Games, Mockingjay could be a serious adjustment.

The same is true of the first half of Francis Lawrence’s big screen rendition, but it’s an adjustment worth making.  Minus the familiar faces and settings, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 bears little resemblance to its predecessors, but Lawrence and co. made a number of changes that make the film version far more accessible than the book.  [Please Note: This article contains spoilers for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, but there is no discussion of what’s to come in Part 2.]

Weekend Box Office: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Claims 2014 Record with $123 Million

by     Posted 28 days ago

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It’s by far the highest box office opening of the year, but the domestic debut of Mockingjay – Part 1 missed the mark in terms of previous Hunger Games releases.  And by a lot, not a little.  The penultimate chapter in the series was expected to open with at least $150 million but claimed $123 million from 4,151 locations instead.  That’s a 22% drop from Catching Fire, which opened on the same weekend one year ago.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Mockingjay- Part 1 $123,000,000 $123
2.  Big Hero 6 $20,086,000 $135.7
3.  Interstellar $15,100,000 $120.6
4.  Dumb and Dumber To $13,820,000 $57.4
5.  Gone Girl $2,815,000 $156.8
6.  Beyond the Lights $2,630,000 $10.1
7.  St. Vincent $2,354,000 $36.6
8.  Fury $1,900,000 $79.1
9.  Birdman $1,855,000 $14.4
10.  Nightcrawler $1,208,000 $27.1

 

Full story after the jump.

Listen to Jennifer Lawrence Sing “The Hanging Tree” from THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1

by     Posted 28 days ago

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If you’ve seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, you know one of the highlights of the film involves a song sung by franchise star Jennifer Lawrence called “The Hanging Tree”.  It’s a somber tune with striking lyrics, and it’s probably been stuck in your head ever since you left the theater.  But not to worry, because you can now listen to the Hunger Games song in its entirety over and over and over again.  “The Hanging Tree” has been released online in full, allowing fans to take as many listens as they please.  Lawrence has admitted her immense embarrassment at having to sing the song on camera, but I’d argue that her quiet vulnerability is what makes the whole sequence so special.

Listen to “The Hanging Tree” by Jennifer Lawrence after the jump.  If you’ve missed any of our The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 coverage thus far, from interviews to reviews to box office updates, click here to catch up.  The film is in theaters now.

TOP 5: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1, PITCH PERFECT 2, Chris Pratt in COWBOY NINJA VIKING, THE STAND Will Be Four Movies, FANTASTIC MR. FOXCATCHER Trailer

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Available now on VOD is writers/directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer‘s horror film Starry Eyes. Starring Alex Essoe as an aspiring actress who is desperate to land a role she’s convinced will jump start her career, the pic puts a devilish twist on a familiar tale of ambition, sacrifice, and obsession. Humorous at times (the very concept of a Hooters-esque restaurant called “Big Taters” comes to mind) and wholly bizarre/frightening at others, Starry Eyes owes a great deal of its effectiveness to Essoe’s fantastic turn as the determined Sarah Walker and Jonathan Snipes‘ (Room 237) tantalizing score. The way things escalate in the final act will make it a hard sell to non-horror fans, but for those who hold the genre near and dear I predict it will go down as one of the most beloved entries of 2014 due to its undeniable style, memorable performance, and pertinent themes.

My creepy as hell recommendation aside, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, the first trailer for Pitch Perfect 2, Chris Pratt landing the lead role in Universal’s Cowboy Ninja Viking adaptation, news regarding Josh Boone‘s The Stand adaptation, and a disturbingly well made FoxcatcherFantastic Mr. Fox mash-up trailer. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Friday Box Office: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 Claims Highest Debut of 2014 with $55 Million

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Those who have been paying attention to 2014’s box office coverage know that there have been two regular refrains over the past eleven months: “Wow, this year kind of blows,” followed by, “But wait until Mockingjay hits!”  In a year that offered more misses than hits, it seemed like a safe bet that the penultimate chapter of the wildly successful The Hunger Games series would provide at least one weekend of hyperbolic box office goodness.  Huge crowds on opening night, maybe even a record or two?  So color me confused to have to say that, after all that buildup, Mockingjay – Part 1 is not the box office savior many of us were expecting.  At least not yet.

Full story after the jump

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 – What Did You Think?

by     Posted 30 days ago

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The time has come.  What’s bound to be the highest earner of 2014 is now in theaters.  As someone who’s very familiar with Suzanne Collins’ source material and has read Mockingjay quite a few times, I’ve been well aware that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was going to be the biggest challenge of the film franchise.  Yes, the book has problems, but even if the scribes behind the Mockingjay movies fix them – and I think they did fix quite a few – the fact that Mockingjay – Part 1 is such a departure from the original two films could still be a problem for many.

You can catch Matt’s full review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 right here, but we’d also like to know what you think about the movie, too.  Did you like the change of tone and pace?  Did it leave you eager to see Mockingjay – Part 2?  Sound off in the comments after the jump.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Earns $17 Million from Thursday Showings; Can It Hit $150 Million?

by     Posted 30 days ago

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Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is off to a fairly strong, if a tad underwhelming, start at the box office.  The film took in an estimated $17 million from Thursday night showings, which is actually short of its previous two entries.  The first Hunger Games took in $19.7 million from midnight-only showings in 2012 and ended up with a $152.5 million opening weekend, while last year’s Catching Fire earned a whopping $25 million from Thursday night showings on the same weekend last year, going on to gross $158 million for the weekend.  While experts have been predicting a massive opening weekend for the highly anticipated (and also well-crafted) Mockingjay – Part 1, these Thursday numbers have some wondering if it might miss the $150 million mark.  More after the jump.

Mahershala Ali Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – Part 1, The Film’s Commentary on War and Propaganda, HOUSE OF CARDS, KICKS, and More

by     Posted 30 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is director Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  In the next installment, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Unlike the last two films which focused on surviving the games Mockingjay – Part 1 is about the rebellion spreading throughout Panem and the way both sides play the media to gain the upper hand.  It’s an extremely well done movie and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.  Joining the cast are Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham) alongside Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanElizabeth BanksSam Claflin, and Donald Sutherland.

Last weekend in New York City I landed an exclusive video interview with Mahershala Ali.  During our extended conversation he talked about the process of making Mockingjay, working with director Francis Lawrence and fleshing out his character, the film’s commentary on war and propaganda, how he got into acting, the way he likes to work, House of Cards and keeping the show’s secrets under wrapsKicks (which he describes as “Goonies meets Boyz n the Hood,” and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Francis Lawrence Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – Part 1, Deleted Scenes, the Lack of IMAX, the Batman vs. Superman Logo in I AM LEGEND, and More

by     Posted 31 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  In the next installment, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Unlike the last two films which focused on surviving the games, Mockingjay – Part 1 is about the rebellion spreading throughout Panem and the way both sides play the media to gain the upper hand.  It’s an extremely well done movie and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.  Joining the cast are Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham) alongside Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth BanksSam Claflin, and Donald Sutherland.

A few days ago in New York City I landed a great video interview with Francis Lawrence.  During our extended conversation he talked about editing Mockingjay – Part 1, deciding the right place to end the film, deleted scenes, the possibility of linking up Part 1 and 2 for a marathon-style fan screening, why he didn’t use IMAX on Mockingjay, the status of Mockingjay – Part 2, and so much more.  In addition, Lawrence talked about the Batman vs. Superman Easter egg in I Am Legend and how the logo is very close to what WB is using for Batman v Superman, if he has has any interest in doing another comic book movie, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Review

by     Posted 31 days ago

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Although Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is ostensibly the heroine of the Hunger Games saga, the story has developed to where she’s no longer in the mold of a traditional protagonist.  She began that way in the first movie, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire started to push her to the background as she became part of a much larger conflict rather than its leader.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 continues this shift to the point where it barely resembles the first two pictures as the true story of the latest installment isn’t Katniss’ journey, but the revolution that’s consumed her and the rest of Panem.  She’s still an integral part and the focus of the narrative, but director Francis Lawrence has expanded the social commentary far beyond the first film, and put it squarely on how media can be used to control or inspire in the true battle for hearts and minds.  Although the movie is eventually weighted down by the business requirement of splitting the final book into two movies, and Katniss still becomes a puddle of tears when the melodramatic love story surfaces, Mockingjay remains a fascinating and dark development in this unique franchise.

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