'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1' Delivers 2014’s Largest Debut with $121.9MNovember 24, 2014 01:31 PM

by Daniel Garris

Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 registered the largest opening weekend of 2014 with $121.898 million this weekend. However, the third installment of the blockbuster franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence debuted a significant 23 percent below the $158.07 million start of last year's Catching Fire and 20 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 $55.14 million on Friday, which included $17.0 million from Thursday night shows. The film declined 26 percent on Saturday to gross $40.91 million and fell 37 percent on Sunday to gross $25.85 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.21 to 1, which was just below the 2.21 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 $20.12 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 $135.75 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 $15.34 million, Interstellar topped Dumb and Dumber To by an estimated $1.26 million for the frame. Interstellar was down a significant 46 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 $120.93 million after 17 days of wide release. The film is also falling further and further behind the pace of last year's 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 61 percent from last weekend to land in fourth with $14.08 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 $57.73 million. However, the film has now fallen 6 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 $1.51 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 $10,798 for the frame. The Theory of Everything has grossed $2.81 million through 17 days of platform release and will continue its expansion over the upcoming Thanksgiving frame.

Daily Domestic Gross Tue, Nov. 8 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Nov. 8 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Puss in Boots (2011)$2,436,88749%3,96311$615$79,601,1892Paramount / DreamWorks
2Tower Heist$1,969,69530%3,367--$585$27,510,0351Universal
3A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$1,294,16025%2,875--$450$15,279,6181Warner Bros. / New Line
4In Time$710,72026%3,1275$227$25,263,9882Fox
5Paranormal Activity 3$537,3816%3,286-43$164$96,160,0003Paramount
6The Rum Diary$346,49027%2,29220$151$10,975,6462FilmDistrict
7Footloose (2011)$345,45629%2,811-413$123$45,332,3624Paramount
8Real Steel$268,90130%2,438-476$110$79,255,2915Disney / DreamWorks
9The Ides of March$187,49534%1,391-181$135$37,065,5585Sony / Columbia
10The Three Musketeers (2011)$175,01731%1,863-1154$94$18,356,1503Summit
11Courageous$152,14413%1,1384$134$30,237,6186Sony / TriStar
12Moneyball$149,90520%1,278-353$117$70,488,6217Sony / Columbia
13Dolphin Tale$96,48753%1,105-733$87$68,776,9307Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Nov. 8 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Anonymous$133,56424%514249$260$2,924,2762Sony / Columbia
3Margin Call$74,01340%17838$416$2,643,0903Roadside Attractions
4Johnny English Reborn$64,39567%644-910$100$7,828,1903Universal
5The Way$39,99631%224-34$179$2,220,2555Producers Distribution Agency
6Sarah's Key$39,26331%318289$123$7,407,66116Weinstein Company
7Drive (2011)$25,79327%136-58$190$34,110,7258FilmDistrict
8The Thing (2011)$24,9608%384-1010$65$16,792,6354Universal
9Contagion$22,06222%260-151$85$74,507,7359Warner Bros.
10Rise of the Planet of the Apes$15,61520%199-32$78$176,169,47914Fox
11Dream House$14,775-1%330-255$45$21,176,4806Universal
12Crazy, Stupid, Love$13,16218%172-78$77$84,133,87915Warner Bros.
14The Mighty Macs$10,481285%101-288$104$1,750,4743Quaker Media
15The Big Year$9,65432%213-210$45$7,030,8804Fox
16What's Your Number?$8,03937%10240$79$13,951,1966Fox
17Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$6,68611%22562$30$380,885,72817Warner Bros.
18Killer Elite$5,2596%119-138$44$25,016,7947Open Road
19Captain America: The First Avenger$4,53929%102-37$45$176,644,88616Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Nov. 8 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Martha Marcy May Marlene$51,38029%9866$524$1,112,3423Fox Searchlight
2Like Crazy$26,87515%1612$1,680$494,6712Paramount Vantage
3Born to Be Wild 3D$16,88269%490$345$13,990,89431Warner Bros. / IMAX
4The Double (2011)$7,53015%4534$167$112,6322Image Entertainment
5Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$3,98646%98-53$41$38,361,92712Weinstein Company
6Apollo 18$3,2099%93-27$35$17,669,84610Weinstein Company
7Our Idiot Brother$2,91927%35-16$83$24,796,97311Weinstein Company
8Inni$2,233-21%42$558$49,7712Cinema Purgatorio
9Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$2,1993%52-23$42$24,024,42311FilmDistrict
10Laugh at My Pain$2,18410%38-13$57$7,678,0909CodeBlack Entertainment
11The Son of No One$2,08110%10--$208$21,9831Anchor Bay Films
12Shark Night 3D$1,888-9%44-46$43$18,841,39710Relativity Media
13Machine Gun Preacher$1,26053%12-1$105$522,5897Relativity Media
14Texas Killing Fields$64910%103$65$43,4794Anchor Bay Films
15Circumstance$60033%5-2$120$437,39511Roadside Attractions
16Dirty Girl$55880%65$93$54,4985Weinstein Company
17Munger Road$47043%9-1$52$259,7856Freestyle Releasing
18I Don't Know How She Does It$42970%8-6$54$9,609,4768Weinstein Company
19The Future$290150%50$58$567,44915Roadside Attractions
20Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$96-29%5-1$19$486,19210Indomina Media
21Project Nim$60-3%30$20$406,56418Roadside Attractions