'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 Fri, Mar. 1 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Mar. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Jack the Giant Slayer$7,693,563--3,525--$2,183$7,693,5631Warner Bros. / New Line
221 And Over$3,349,433--2,771--$1,209$3,349,4331Relativity Media
3The Last Exorcism Part II$3,249,542--2,700--$1,204$3,249,5421CBS Films
4Identity Thief$2,729,350173%3,2308$845$100,456,4554Universal
5Snitch (2013)$2,120,045175%2,5110$844$18,830,3842Lionsgate / Summit
6Safe Haven$2,027,242186%2,951-272$687$52,820,7253Relativity Media
7Silver Linings Playbook$1,568,028169%1,836-176$854$111,147,66716Weinstein Company
8Escape From Planet Earth$1,296,636214%3,110-243$417$37,783,6863Weinstein Company
9A Good Day to Die Hard$1,193,16870%2,589-966$461$56,317,2093Fox
10Dark Skies$1,094,128203%2,3130$473$10,990,8152Weinstein / Dimension
11Warm Bodies$747,753170%1,930-714$387$60,107,4275Lionsgate / Summit
12Side Effects (2013)$467,01157%1,112-958$420$26,791,3204Open Road
13Beautiful Creatures (2013)$260,9656%1,075-1875$243$17,867,3993Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Mar. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Life of Pi$560,018123%62654$895$115,203,03415Fox
2Argo$536,083165%985183$544$131,092,46821Warner Bros.
3Quartet$462,259212%725369$638$9,862,0498Weinstein Company
4Zero Dark Thirty$331,08491%722-475$459$92,605,16611Sony / Columbia
5Django Unchained$275,110129%983324$280$159,567,11710Weinstein Company
6Lincoln$236,81790%652-223$363$179,322,87317Disney / DreamWorks
7Les Miserables (2012)$147,84060%352-110$420$147,207,45010Universal
8Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$140,3232%601-824$233$53,678,2406Paramount
10Kai Po Che$72,023259%104-6$693$690,3512UTV Motion Pictures
11The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$63,25729%210-178$301$301,198,24912Warner Bros. / New Line
12Rise of The Guardians$59,204182%295-10$201$102,155,75415Paramount / DreamWorks
13Jack Reacher$56,157710%225125$250$79,548,57011Paramount
14Parental Guidance$53,392162%258-123$207$75,905,85310Fox
15Bless Me, Ultima$43,59538%183-80$238$1,122,5112Arenas Entertainment
16The Impossible$43,57361%151-122$289$18,206,40011Lionsgate / Summit
17The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$34,378120%180-43$191$292,219,30616Lionsgate / Summit
18Gangster Squad$25,62356%138-64$186$45,686,7888Warner Bros.
19A Haunted House$25,16226%169-133$149$39,965,7078Open Road
20The Guilt Trip$22,84156%133-53$172$37,040,52011Paramount
21Skyfall$21,098--101-83$209$304,242,80717Sony / Columbia

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Mar. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Stoker$47,700--7--$6,814$47,7001Fox Searchlight
2The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone$44,238--68--$651$44,2381Methinx Entertainment
3To the Arctic 3D$14,35580%520$276$11,430,18446Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Hyde Park on Hudson$13,70974%38-27$361$6,178,68413Focus
5Bullet to the Head$10,410151%86-19$121$9,423,8815Warner Bros.
6Broken City$8,86152%69-29$128$19,616,2847Fox
8The Sweeney$6,198--11--$563$6,1981eOne Films US
9Born to Be Wild 3D$5,67390%300$189$22,067,101100Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Stand Up Guys$4,481-5%17-24$264$3,288,1655Lionsgate / Roadside
11Camp (2013)$2,459613%21$1,230$11,7742Freestyle Releasing
12Movie 43$2,02268%17-4$119$8,806,0016Relativity Media
13A Late Quartet$865-30%6-1$144$1,548,56418Entertainment One / RKO
14ABCD - Any Body Can Dance$144-82%2-7$72$221,1854UTV Motion Pictures
15Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare$108--1--$108$95,72222Roadside Attractions