‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ Stays Strong at Thanksgiving Box Office

     November 28, 2015


It looks like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 will not be the first film in The Hunger Games franchise to fall to second place in its sophomore weekend. The fourth and final film in the blockbuster series took in a reported $21.2 million on Black Friday: the unofficial start of the holiday movie season. Yesterday’s estimate was slightly higher than expected and means that Mockingjay 2 will stay on top of the box office with about $50 million for the three-day weekend and $74 million over the five-day Thanksgiving frame. That’s less than Mockingjay 1 earned at the same time last year but, back in 2014, Katniss didn’t face much competition to speak of (sorry Penguins of Madagascar).

This year The Hunger Games went up against The Good Dinosaur, the second Disney/Pixar release of 2015. Compared to the outsized success of July’s Inside Out (it’s currently the third biggest movie of 2015 and the second biggest in Pixar history), expectations for The Good Dinosaur were more modest: about $60 million for its first five days. Even so, based on Mockingjay 2’s lower-than-expected opening last weekend and the incredible good will Pixar has built with audiences of all ages, it wasn’t hard to imagine The Good Dinosaur knocking Katniss out of the top spot.

good-dinosaur-poster-finalThe Good Dinosaur got off to a good start on Wednesday with an estimated $9.8 million. That’s on par with the $9.5 million that Toy Story 2 earned on the day before Thanksgiving back in 1999, not adjusted for inflation. If you’re looking for a fresher comp, be aware that ten of Pixar’s 16 feature films have been released during the summer, so a perfect parallel is hard to find. On Black Friday, The Good Dinosaur earned an estimated $15.6 million, which indicates a three-day weekend of $40 million or $55 million for the five-day frame.

In third place on Friday was Creed, the sixth film to feature Sylvester Stallone as boxer Rocky Balboa following 1976’s Academy Award winning Rocky. Creed opened Wednesday with an estimated $6 million and was one of the only films to see its grosses go up on Thanksgiving day – typically one of the box office’s slower days. According to studio estimates, Creed brought in another $11.7 million yesterday, which puts the film’s weekend projection up to $28 million, or close to $40 million for its first five days.

Thanksgiving’s final new release was Fox’s Victor Frankenstein, which opened at number twelve on Wednesday and has remained there since. From 2,737 locations, Victor Frankenstein earned an estimated $905,000 on Friday, or a painful per-screen average of $304. Prior to its release, tracking had Victor Frankenstein claiming $13 million between Wednesday and Sunday. It now seems like a stretch for the movie to hit above $3 million . Naturally, we’ll fill you in on Thanksgiving’s official estimates tomorrow.

Until then, here’s Friday’s top five:

 Title Friday Total
1.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2 $21,250,000 $167.9
2.  The Good Dinosaur $15.663,000 $32
3.  Creed $11,700,000 $24.18
4.  Spectre $5,285,000 $168.5
5.  The Peanuts Movie $4,000,000 $111


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