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Sunday Update: Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 registered the largest opening weekend of 2014 with an estimated $123.0 million this weekend. However, the third installment of the blockbuster franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence debuted a significant 22 percent below the $158.07 million start of last year's Catching Fire and 19 percent below the $152.54 million start of 2012's The Hunger Games. While Mockingjay - Part 1 had been largely expected to open below Catching Fire due in part to not having an IMAX boost this time around, the degree of the drop-off from Catching Fire was certainly unexpected.

With that said, it should be noted that in addition to easily generating the largest opening weekend of 2014 (the previous high being the $100.04 million start of Transformers: Age of Extinction), Mockingjay - Part 1 also claimed the sixth largest opening weekend ever for the month of November and the 15th largest opening weekend of all-time (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). Those are still impressive accomplishments, especially without the aid of either 3D or IMAX sales.

Mockingjay - Part 1 opened with $55.15 million on Friday, which included $17.0 million from Thursday night shows. The film declined 26 percent on Saturday to gross $40.75 million and is estimated to fall 33.5 percent on Sunday to gross $27.1 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.23 to 1, which is on par with the 2.23 to 1 ratio of Catching Fire. The ratio suggests that Mockingjay - Part 1 will likely display similar holding power to that of Catching Fire, though Mockingjay - Part 1 could potentially hold up slightly better due in part from having opened significantly lower and in part from not having to face competition from Frozen. Mockingjay - Part 1 received an A- rating on CinemaScore.

Disney's Big Hero 6 took in an estimated $20.09 million to remain in second place. The 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios was down 42 percent from last weekend. Even though Mockingjay - Part 1 didn't pack the same punch as Catching Fire did last year, it still had a clear effect on holdovers, as percentage declines from last weekend were significant in general. Big Hero 6 has grossed $135.71 million through 17 days of release. That places the film 11.5 percent ahead of the $121.75 million 17-day take of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph (which fell 44 percent in its third weekend to gross $18.58 million). While it will face new direct competition from Fox's Penguins of Madagascar beginning on Wednesday, Big Hero 6 is likely to hold up nicely over Thanksgiving weekend thanks in part to strong word of mouth and in part based on historical trends for family fare over the Thanksgiving frame.

It was a fairly close race for third place this weekend between Paramount's Interstellar and Universal's Dumb and Dumber To. With an estimated $15.1 million, Interstellar topped Dumb and Dumber To by an estimated $1.3 million for the frame. Interstellar was down a significant 47 percent from last weekend, as despite continued IMAX shows, the Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film still took a hit from Mockingjay - Part 1. Interstellar continues to perform below expectations with $120.69 million after 17 days of wide release. The film is also falling further and further behind the pace of Gravity, as it is now running 29 percent behind the $169.56 million 17-day take of Gravity (which fell just 31 percent in its third weekend to gross $30.03 million). While Interstellar could experience stronger than usual stabilization over the next two weeks, the film will be facing very direct competition from both Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings and Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in December.

On the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected first place debut, Dumb and Dumber To fell three spots and a massive 62 percent from last weekend to land in fourth with an estimated $13.8 million. A fan-driven opening weekend performance combined with poor critical reviews and lackluster word of mouth among moviegoers (not to mention the added presence of Mockingjay - Part 1) clearly helped lead to a hefty second weekend decline for the long-awaited comedy sequel starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Despite the second weekend decline, Dumb and Dumber To is running in line with expectations at this point with a very solid ten-day take of $57.45 million. However, the film has now fallen 7 percent behind the $61.57 million ten-day pace of last year's Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (which fell just 38 percent in its second weekend to gross $20.01 million).

On the limited front, Focus' The Theory of Everything expanded nicely with an estimated $1.50 million from 140 locations. That placed the James Marsh directed awards season hopeful in tenth place among all films and gave the film a per-location average of $10,714 for the frame. The Theory of Everything has grossed $2.79 million through 17 days of platform release and will continue its expansion over the upcoming Thanksgiving frame.

Fellow awards season hopeful Foxcatcher grossed an estimated $474,339 from 24 locations. That gave the Bennett Miller directed film starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum a per-location average of $19,764. The Sony Pictures Classics release has grossed $0.822 million after ten days.

Saturday Update: Lionsgate reports that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 opened to $55 million on Friday, including Thursday night's $17 million start. While Friday's showing is down 22.5 percent from Catching Fire's $71 million opening day, the first Mockingjay drew a stronger Thursday-to-Friday multiple (3.2x) than did Catching Fire (2.8x) from its $25.25 million early shows on the same weekend last year.

Fans and casual viewers didn't feel the need to rush out so abruptly for Mockingjay - Part 1, which can likely be explained by a number of reasons such as the lack of a true ending to the story, the general perception that Mockingjay is the least favorite among fans of the original book series, hazardous snowstorms plaguing some parts of the country, and other contributing factors. How the film plays out from here will be even more telling, although it seems like the general consensus for now is that split stories and split finales have finally played out some of their welcome among audiences. The only franchise to mostly escape that fate thus far has been Harry Potter, which essentially began the trend with November 2010's Deathly Hallows Part 1. That film bowed to a $61.7 million opening day as part of a $125 million weekend.

Early word of mouth for the first half of Mockingjay is mostly positive with an 83 percent Flixster score as of Saturday morning, although that's down from Catching Fire's excellent 1-day after score of 94 percent. Critics haven't been as kind to the film this time around either (driven by the same aversion to split finales), giving it a 68 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. All of this being said, the film will still claim 2014's best opening weekend thus far with a projected $122 million. That figure could go higher if this entry proves to be a bit more back-loaded by general audiences. Where the film lands in the end is difficult to tell right now given the new territory the franchise is in right now, but combined with strong overseas returns, Lionsgate still has plenty of reason to be satisfied as they prepare the series' final film for November 2015.

Meanwhile, Big Hero 6 took second place yesterday with $4.48 million. That figure was down 44 percent from last Friday, identical to Wreck-It Ralph's drop on its third Friday. Big Hero 6 has tallied $120.1 million domestically so far, placing it 12 percent ahead of Ralph's pace. BoxOffice projects an $18.9 million weekend.

Dumb and Dumber To slid 70 percent from opening day to $4.3 million yesterday. With $47.95 million in the bank through eight days of release, BoxOffice is projecting a $13.9 million sophomore frame.

Interstellar was off 49 percent from last Friday to $4.22 million yesterday. Christopher Nolan's space epic has earned a domestic total of $109.8 million through its first 15 days. BoxOffice projects a $14 million third weekend.

Rounding out the top five in a tie for Friday, Gone Girl and Beyond the Lights each brought in $0.8 million. The former title's domestic haul is now up to $154.8 million, while the latter title's 8-day gross stands at $8.3 million.

Check back on Sunday morning for official weekend estimates from the studios.

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is headed for a $125 million-$130 million debut based on Friday matinee receipts. 

While that's certainly a healthy opening on its own terms, it's far from the $158.1 million debut that Catching Fire managed last November. 

Check back tomorrow for official studio estimates and updated projections. 

Friday Update #1: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 scored $17 million from Thursday evening shows. While that trails the $25.3 million haul of Catching Fire last year, it's still comfortably ahead of the $11.2 million Thursday evening tally of Guardians of the Galaxy

More coming soon...

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By Daniel Garris

Paramount's Interstellar grossed $1.81 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office one last time. The high-profile Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film was down a solid 10 percent from Wednesday and down 46 percent from last Thursday. It should be noted that daily percentage declines were significant for most wide releases yesterday, due in large part to Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 entering the marketplace on Thursday evening. Interstellar took third place for the week with a weekly haul of $36.97 million. That represented a 44 percent decline from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's domestic total to $105.59 million after 14 days of wide release.

Universal's Dumb and Dumber To held steady in second with $1.44 million. The long awaited comedy sequel starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels was down 12 percent from Wednesday. While it has shown early signs of front-loading throughout the midweek, Dumb and Dumber To was still the week's top film with a very solid seven-day start of $43.65 million. That was slightly ahead of pre-release expectations and places the film 5 percent ahead of the $41.56 million seven-day start of last year's Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.

Disney's Big Hero 6 took in $1.15 million to remain in third place. The 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios was down just 1 percent from Wednesday, which represented one of the day's better daily percentage holds among wide releases. The film fell 39 percent from last Thursday. Big Hero 6 claimed second place for the week with $39.98 million. That was down 47 percent from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to $115.62 million. Big Hero 6 is currently running 12 percent ahead of the $103.17 million 14-day take of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph.

Beyond the Lights rounded out its first week of release with a seventh place take of $0.256 million. The low-budget drama from Relativity was down 10 percent from Wednesday's performance. Beyond the Lights took fourth place for the week with a modest seven-day start of $7.49 million. That was below expectations and was 20 percent below the recent $9.37 million seven-day start of Addicted.

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By Alex Edghill

Friday Morning Update: Back in 2012 Pitch Perfect took Twitter by storm with almost 40k tweets in its four days leading up to release. For an original film it was surprising to say the least and it used its buzz well as word of mouth was strong. It ended up with over $65 million in North America and was more than enough to greenlight a sequel. Its trailer was attached ahead of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and also released online yesterday and reached a massive 87k on the day. That is more than the original got in its entire release week and one of the top 20 all time on Twitter. So its safe to say this is highly anticipated by its Twitter fanbase, aka the tween/teen/twentysomething female crowd. This will no doubt be one of the darlings of Twitter next Summer.

Disney's Cinderella released its first trailer a few days ago as well but it was met with a lukewarm 11,625 tweets on the day. The tweet string is a bit more restricted here since Cinderella is too common of a word to search for on its own so that does account for the lowish numbers. In addition, a big part of the target audience are younger kids so I wouldn't have expected it to come close to say Pitch Perfect. Family-friendly movies generally don't blow up on trailers like other genres (A recent example would be Big Hero 6 which had just 8,837 tweet back in the Summer) so this is by no means a red flag, but does show that its appealing more to the family audiences than young women, a divide that last year's Frozen managed to cross.

Twitter Top 15 Movies for the week of November 14th to 20th

Date Movie Tweets Rank Peak Change
5/15/15 Pitch Perfect 2 95,033 1 (+29) 1 3741.27%
2/13/15 Fifty Shades Of Grey 67,118 2 (+1) 2 21.61%
5/01/15 Avengers: Age of Ultron 27,362 3 (+1) 1 -48.32%
11/26/14 Penguins Of Madagascar 20,563 4 (+10) 4 55.96%
3/13/15 Cinderella (2015) 18,754 5 (+40) 5 4386.60%
12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 17,902 6 (-1) 5 -65.56%
12/17/14 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 16,917 7 (-) 7 -55.46%
11/26/14 Horrible Bosses 2 16,756 8 (+3) 8 -14.72%
5/29/15 San Andreas 16,336 9 (+3) 9 -15.46%
6/12/15 Jurassic World 16,331 10 (+21) 10 594.64%
7/10/15 Minions 15,768 11 (-2) 3 -44.33%
12/25/14 Unbroken 15,702 12 (+28) 12 1860.30%
12/25/14 Into The Woods 14,785 13 (-5) 6 -51.05%
12/19/14 Annie (2014) 12,099 14 (+4) 9 66.63%
6/19/15 Paper Towns 9,850 15 (+1) 15 2.45%

Please check the methodology page for information about our Twitter project or here for historic data.

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mj1.pngThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is off to a fast start ahead of the weekend. The film opened in nine markets on Wednesday, including Brazil and France, before expanding to 59 more markets on Thursday. The UK, Germany, Australia, Italy, and South Korea formed the core of key markets from Thursday's overseas expansion. The latest installment in The Hunger Games saga opens in 17 more markets on Friday to reach a day-and-date presence across a total of 85 markets and making it the widest release in Lionsgate history.

Current overseas estimates put the film at $33 million with #1 premieres across virtually every market. UK came in with $3.6 million including previews, up 12% from the previous installment in the franchise. UK was the previous film's biggest overseas territory and is expected to perform well in the coming weeks.

Mockingjay posted the biggest opening day of 2014 in Germany with $2.9 million, 11% ahead of Catching Fire. France has a two-day cume of $3 million while russia posted a 2D opening record among 2014 releases with $2.7 million. Australia recorded a single-day gross of $2.4 million to also become the biggest premiere of the year to date. I

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nato.pngCommitments To Voluntary Actions To Improve Access Also Outlined

(Washington, D.C. - 21 November 2014) The Alexander Graham Bell Association (AG Bell), the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced an agreement to file joint recommendations with the Department of Justice regarding its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on captioning equipment in U.S. movie theaters.

After several weeks of discussions, the five organizations agreed on a set of recommendations (attached) to the DOJ to improve access to movies for deaf and hard of hearing patrons.

Closed captioning (CC) and audio description (AD) technologies are to be installed in all digital movie theater auditoriums nationwide.

The joint plan establishes certain minimum closed captioning device requirements with a monitoring requirement. This flexible, market-responsive device scoping method will ensure access for all deaf and hard of hearing patrons and respond to actual consumer demand.

The compliance period has been restructured to reflect reasonable timelines in delivery and installation of CC and AD systems.

In addition to these and other requirements regarding marketing, staff training, and equipment maintenance, the movie theater industry and the advocacy groups have committed to voluntary actions (attached) to expand access to the movies. These include:

Encouraging movie distributors to provide CC and AD data files on all movies and trailers.

Encouraging movie distributors to provide theaters with information on the availability of CC and AD technologies in advance of the film's release so this information can be included in show time listings.

Sharing information on areas with large deaf and hard of hearing populations, including schools, and conducting specific outreach to community groups.

"A.G. Bell and other deaf advocates have been fighting for captioning access in movie theaters ever since 1927 when the first "talkie" movies were released," said John F. Stanton, chair, Public Affairs Council of A.G. Bell. "These joint comments are the result of decades of efforts from A.G. Bell's members and other deaf advocates to attain captioning access in movie theaters. Today is truly a landmark day in captioning access history. As soon as these joint comments are effectuated, the days for deaf or hard of hearing consumers having to wait for a movie to come out on television, video, or DVD for the captions will be over."

"This is the end of a long road, and like a lot of long roads, there have been a few bumps along the way," said John Waldo, ALDA member and attorney. "Most ALDA members lost some or all of their hearing later in life, and movies were one of those things we could and did enjoy at one time but can no longer do so. We are very grateful to the theater owners for helping us get to this destination, and we look forward to a continuing and productive partnership."

"Hearing Loss Association of America welcomes this historic agreement with NATO," said Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director of HLAA. "With this agreement comes the potential for anyone with hearing loss to see and understand any movie any time using captioning devices. For us, that is a "Welcome Back" banner for people who had given up going to the movies simply because they could no longer hear."

"These Joint Recommendations from a breakthrough coalition of movie theater owners and deaf and hard of hearing advocacy groups are a tremendous step forward in ensuring equal access for everyone," said Howard A. Rosenblum, Esq., CEO of the NAD. "Since 1880, the NAD has advocated for equal access to all aspects of life and is thrilled to be involved in this collaborative effort to break down barriers on an ongoing basis."

John Fithian, NATO president and CEO, said "This partnership between deaf and hard of hearing advocates and the movie theater industry has been remarkably productive and promises to yield results that will benefit our patrons and expand access to movie theaters in a real, practical and measurable way."

"Encouraged by the DOJ and particularly Deputy Assistant Attorney General Eve Hill, NATO and the advocacy groups have worked diligently to develop a Joint Position that will be flexible, encourage new technology, and enable movie goers across the nation to benefit from closed captioning in all digital theatres. We will be submitting our recommendations to the DOJ for consideration as part of the rule," said Randy Smith, chief administrative officer for Regal Entertainment Group.

About

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) is a non-profit organization that represents a community of 13,0000 nationwide. Through advocacy, education, research and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and thrive in mainstream society.

The Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) is an international organization with members throughout the United States from various economic, racial, religious, age, and occupational groups. The organization strives to provide education, role models and support for late-deafened adults. It also advocates on behalf of late-deafened adults in promoting public and private programs that support their needs, and encourages research into the various aspects of late-deafness. In furtherance of its advocacy mission, ALDA has actively worked on movie captioning.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation's leading consumer organization representing some 48 million Americans with hearing loss. HLAA provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to a mission of preserving, protecting and promoting the civil, human, and linguistic rights of 48 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States. Established in 1880, NAD advocates in all areas including but not limited to early intervention, education, employment, technology, healthcare, telecommunications and more.

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is a non-profit organization whose members own and operate more than 32,000 of the 40,000 movie screens in the U.S. NATO members operate theaters in all 50 states.

Contacts


Susan Boswell
Director of Communications and Marketing
AG Bell
202-204-4687
sboswell@agbell.org

John Waldo
Advocacy Director and Counsel
Washington State Communication Access Project - Wash-CAP
Counsel
Oregon Communication Access Project - OR-CAP
ALDA
206-849-5009
johnfwaldo@hotmail.com

Lise Hamlin
Director of Public Policy
HLAA
301-657-2248
LHamlin@hearingloss.org
Andrew Phillips
Policy Counsel
NAD
301-587-1788
andrew.phillips@nad.org

John Fithian
President & CEO
NATO
202.962.0054

Patrick Corcoran
Vice President & Chief Communications Officer
NATO
818-506-1778
pfc@natoca.com

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