hungergamemockingjay.pngBy Shawn Robbins

What became seemingly inevitable over the holidays finally came to fruition on Wednesday: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, with an otherwise anti-climactic daily gross of $106,407, overtook Guardians of the Galaxy as North America's top domestic grosser of 2014. The former's total now stands at $333.18 million -- topping the latter's most recently reported tally of $333.17 million.

Why, nearly one month into the new year, is this newsworthy?

For starters, it's the first time any franchise has ever "won" back-to-back box office years. For all the Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Twilight, and superhero movies out there, Katniss Everdeen is the first iconic character to champion two straight calendar victories. (Of course, scheduling, competition, and a bevy of other factors weigh in here... but that's beside the point.)

By extension, it's also the first time any studio has won back-to-back years in the modern box office tracking era (an impressive feat for the recently-minted seventh major studio, Lionsgate).

BoxOffice previously analyzed the full perspective of what Mockingjay - Part 1's top annual ranking could mean before the film's release last November. The penultimate franchise chapter may have fallen somewhat short of many industry expectations, but that's a minor footnote against an otherwise impressive accomplishment. Nothing is taken away from Guardians' spectacular run either.

For what it's worth, this is the second straight year the Hunger Games franchise upset Disney and Marvel for the top domestic spot (Catching Fire led the way past Iron Man 3 in 2013). Will the story repeat again for 2015 as Lionsgate closes out its biggest success to-date come November? Possibly, but we're fairly confident Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Age of Ultron will have something to say about that.

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carmikecinemas.pngUplifting Family and Faith-Inspired Feature Opens Theatrical Run February 6 at Carmike Locations Nationwide

COLUMBUS, Georgia (January 22, 2015) - Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKEC), a leading entertainment, digital cinema and 3-D motion picture exhibitor, today announced its upcoming in-theatre PASS A COKE (#PassACoke) promotion with The Coca-Cola Company, the world's leading beverage company. All High School student attendees of the PASS THE LIGHT movie nationwide with ID and proof of ticket purchased for the feature film will receive a free small Coca-Cola beverage at the Carmike Cinemas concessions stand.

PASS THE LIGHT promotes uniting communities and spreading messages of anti-bullying, kindness and positivity. The DigiNext release, in association with Vision Vehicle Productions, begins its theatrical run on February 6 (theatres and show-times listed here) on the Carmike Cinemas circuit at locations across the country. Additional screens will be added in subsequent weeks. The movie received a Dove Foundation "Faith Friendly" seal for ages 12 and up. See the trailer at the official website, www.passthelightmovie.com. Connect with PASS THE LIGHT on Facebook.com/PassTheLight, Twitter #PassTheLight and via Instagram @passthelightmovie.

Bud Mayo, DigiNext Co-Founder and Carmike's President of Alternative Programming & Distribution Division stated, "Families, and teens in particular, are sure to enjoy our upcoming theatrical release of PASS THE LIGHT, an uplifting family and faith-inspired feature with a very positive message, and the PASS A COKE campaign. There's nothing better than a delicious and refreshing Coca-Cola to accompany a freshly popped popcorn or other concessions item(s) while you're enjoying a great movie in-person at your local Carmike Cinemas entertainment complex."

What the reviewers are saying...

· Faith-Friendly Seal (5 Doves out of 5) "The film focuses on compassion, overcoming difficulties in relationships, and extending a hand rather than showing a closed fist."

o Edwin L. Carpenter (The Dove Foundation - www.dove.org)

· 5 Stars out of 5..."It's one of the best Christian movies ever made."

o Leah St John (Christian Review - www.christianreview.com)

· 3.5 Stars out of 4..."'Pass The Light is joyful and entertaining. If you like faith-based films, pay close attention to it. If you don't like them, pay even closer attention."

o Mike McGranahan (The Aisle Seat - www.aisleseat.com)

Advance tickets are available online via www.carmike.com and ticketing partners www.movietickets.com and www.fandango.com.

About Carmike Cinemas

Carmike Cinemas, Inc. is a U.S. leader in digital cinema, 3-D cinema deployments and one of the nation's largest motion picture exhibitors. Carmike has 273 theatres with 2,892 screens in 41 states. The circuit includes 45 premium large format (PLF) auditoriums featuring state-of-the-art technology and luxurious seating, including 28 "BigDs," 15 IMAX auditoriums and two MuviXL screens. As "America's Hometown Theatre Chain" Carmike's primary focus is mid-sized communities. Visit www.carmike.com for exact show- times and to purchase tickets.

About DigiNext, LLC

The future of film distribution, DigiNext (www.diginextfilms.com) has developed a comprehensive worldwide, direct-to-consumer (DtoC) movie release platform. The platform showcases the talents of today's most talented and passionate directors and producers of independent features as well as issue-based documentaries, providing them with a unique and customized way to drive additional value and recognition of their work. DigiNext offers filmmakers a domestic theatrical release, plus a global, targeted reach to worldwide audiences. Brands and marketers can also access pre-selected targeted audiences via DigiNext's end-to-end platform. DigiNext is a joint venture partnership between Carmike Cinemas (NASDAQ: CKEC), the nation's fourth largest theatrical exhibitor - with 2900+ screens across 41 states - and Nehst Out, creator of a content distribution system reaching 70+ countries via electronic sell-through including digital downstream, DVD and other ancillary revenue opportunities.

 

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jan16.pngWarner Bros. reports American Sniper added another $7.56 million in first place on Wednesday, bringing its total up to $128.1 million. The Chris Kyle biopic starring Bradley Cooper, and directed by Clint Eastwood, has already amassed a higher total gross in six days of wide release than Lone Survivor's entire $125.1 million domestic run last year.

In second place, The Wedding Ringer took in $1.15 million yesterday. The Kevin Hart comedy's six-day total is $26.9 million, 10 percent off the pace of About Last Night.

Taken 3 slotted third on Wednesday with another $0.72 million, down 66 percent from last Wednesday. The Liam Neeson action sequel has earned $67.7 million through 13 days of release.

In fourth place, Selma added $0.6 million for a 39.5 percent week-to-week drop. The Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic has earned $33.0 million domestically thus far.

Paddington claimed fifth place yesterday with a $0.57 million take, giving the film a six-day start of $27.1 million -- less than 1 percent behind the pace of The Nut Job.

Meanwhile, Blackhat grossed $0.27 million yesterday. Its six-day cume is $5.15 million.

 

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amc.pngTickets on sale now for AMC Theatres' Oscar® tradition featuring all eight Best Picture nominees; AMC partnering with Tilt to offer crowdsourced AMC locations for the 24-Hour Best Picture Showcase marathon

For the ninth straight year, AMC Theatres is bringing all of this year's Best Picture nominees to its locations for the AMC Best Picture Showcase.

Since 2007, AMC has offered guests the opportunity to see every movie nominated for Best Picture by the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences for one great price. The traditional AMC Best Picture Showcase will take place over the course of two Saturdays-Feb.14 and Feb. 21.

Also back by popular demand this year, but with a twist, is the AMC Best Picture Showcase 24-hour Marathon, which shows every movie nominated for Best Picture in less than 24 hours, right before the Oscars®. This year, in addition to the six locations already announced, AMC has partnered with crowdfunding platform Tilt to allow guests the option to bring a Best Picture Showcase Marathon to their favorite location.

To participate, guests can visit www.AMCtheatres.com/BPS to see participating locations, and nominate their theatre for the AMC Best Picture Showcase marathon. Guests can "reserve" a ticket at that theatre, and once 100 tickets are reserved, the event is on!

AMC Stubs members will receive an additional $5 AMC Stubs Bonus Bucks added to their membership card for each one-day pass purchased, up to four tickets. Members who purchase a two-day pass or purchase a ticket to the marathon event will receive $10 AMC Stubs Bonus Bucks to their membership card. AMC Stubs Bonus Bucks can be used for concessions throughout that day.

Tickets are on sale online at amctheatres.com/bps and at the box offices of participating AMC locations. The two-day pass is available only at the box office of participating theatres. Follow the Best Picture Oscar buzz on Twitter by using the hashtag #amcbps or on Facebook at facebook.com/amctheatres.

The Academy Awards® will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on ABC.

Oscar® is the registered trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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sniper.pngLOS ANGELES - January 21, 2015 - According to Fandango, the nation's leading moviegoer destination, "American Sniper" continues to stay on target, with this weekend's top ticket sales and a surefire 87 out of 100 points on Fandango's Fanticipation movie buzz indicator.

"Sniper" is on track to see landmark weekend sales, marking:

· The biggest second weekend of any January wide release in Fandango history;

· Second weekend sales that are bigger than the first weekend sales of the previous top January openers ("Lone Survivor" and "Ride Along") on Fandango.

"‘American Sniper' is unstoppable and its hot daily ticket sales show no signs of letting up," says Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger. "Clint Eastwood's award-nominated film is currently on track for an historic second weekend, as it continues to smash January records."

Fandango Movieclips has compiled the most memorable scenes from Bradley Cooper's movies in "The Ultimate Bradley Cooper Supercut." The mashup video can be viewed at http://www.fandango.com/movie-trailer/bradleycoopermashup-trailer/177733?autoplay=true&mpxId=2646910007.

About Fandango's Fanticipation

Known for having its finger on the pulse of moviegoers, Fandango's movie buzz indicator, Fanticipation, provides statistical insight into the movies fans are planning to see in a given weekend. Fanticipation scores (based on a 1 to 100-point scale) are calculated via an algorithm of Fandango's advance ticket sales, website and mobile traffic, and social media engagement. Fanticipation is not intended as a forecast of the weekend box office; it is a snapshot of movie fan sentiment.

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