'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' Claims Best Opening Day of 2014 with $55 MillionNovember 22, 2014 02:40 AM

by Shawn Robbins

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.

Daily Domestic Gross Tue, Sep. 25 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Sep. 25 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1End of Watch$1,484,05217%2,730--$544$15,905,1561Open Road
2Trouble with the Curve$1,237,15245%3,212--$385$14,253,5681Warner Bros.
3House at the End of the Street$940,86754%3,083--$305$13,840,0651Relativity Media
4Dredd 3D$734,88329%2,506--$293$7,581,3031Lionsgate
5Resident Evil: Retribution$698,83129%3,0164$232$34,711,1072Sony / Screen Gems
6Finding Nemo 3D$617,70135%2,9040$213$31,250,2432Disney
7Lawless$274,23034%2,614-449$105$34,956,0704Weinstein Company
8The Possession$225,58935%2,598-262$87$45,684,4514Lionsgate
9The Bourne Legacy$142,45033%1,431-739$100$110,652,3507Universal
10The Expendables 2$141,93131%1,820-1076$78$83,269,6906Lionsgate
112016: Obama's America$135,21913%1,216--$111$32,277,11011Rocky Mountain Pictures
13The Campaign$124,23833%1,250-752$99$85,203,8597Warner Bros.
14Hope Springs (2012)$104,88143%1,147-799$91$62,332,8367Sony / Columbia
15The Odd Life of Timothy Green$101,12224%1,752-663$58$48,838,8126Disney
16The Words$88,91054%1,247-1554$71$11,146,9593CBS Films
17Last Ounce of Courage$75,68619%1,064--$71$2,904,7232Rocky Mountain Pictures

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Sep. 25 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Master$385,65010%788783$489$6,183,6952Weinstein Company
2The Dark Knight Rises$128,36024%948-633$135$443,355,81610Warner Bros.
3Arbitrage$107,61530%24447$441$4,048,4142Roadside Attractions
4Barfi!$63,707103%130-2$490$2,072,5562UTV Communications
5Heroine$43,516162%114--$382$450,0301UTV Communications
6Premium Rush$40,28455%567-772$71$19,731,3435Sony / Columbia
7Ice Age: Continental Drift$35,63812%420-121$85$158,628,74211Fox
8Ted (2012)$29,16524%293-118$100$217,891,50513Universal
9The Intouchables$23,48848%156-24$151$12,292,52218Weinstein Company
10Hit and Run$19,63638%291-360$67$13,640,0805Open Road
11For A Good Time, Call...$19,61739%105-2$187$1,118,0114Focus
12Moonrise Kingdom$15,682-9%120-37$131$45,194,49318Focus
13Beasts of the Southern Wild$14,71720%132-80$111$10,929,95213Fox Searchlight
14Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$14,713-1%374-217$39$47,808,8778Fox
15Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$13,70330%240-66$57$215,920,70416Paramount / DreamWorks
16Step Up Revolution$9,17618%182-86$50$34,977,0069Lionsgate / Summit
17The Cold Light of Day$9,008118%155-1356$58$3,704,5423Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Sep. 25 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Perks of Being A Wallflower$25,09135%4--$6,273$272,0711Lionsgate / Summit
2To the Arctic 3D$10,827-27%520$208$8,683,09923Warner Bros. / IMAX
310 Years$8,99441%4340$209$120,4882Anchor Bay Films
4The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$7,39467%47-33$157$46,274,87921Fox Searchlight
5My Uncle Rafael$7,30024%14--$521$122,9451Rocky Mountain Pictures
6Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience$6,474-1%85-237$76$3,068,3353Paramount
7The Watch$5,6489%77-61$73$34,243,4569Fox
8Magic Mike$3,26543%55-60$59$113,715,54813Warner Bros.
9Ruby Sparks$2,97450%43-27$69$2,483,2149Fox Searchlight
10Safety Not Guaranteed$2,90335%40-6$73$3,963,09416FilmDistrict
11Born to Be Wild 3D$2,650-35%330$80$20,892,29377Warner Bros. / IMAX
12Toys in the Attic$87621%6--$146$50,1633Hannover House
13The Apparition$660-4%35-33$19$4,861,8325Warner Bros.
14Husbands In Goa$477155%7--$68$5,1471UTV Communications
15Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$38911%70$56$3,372,2097ARC Entertainment
16Cosmopolis$2587%9-22$29$758,0666Entertainment One Films
17Branded$75-20%2-78$38$353,3963Roadside Attractions