'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1' Claims 2014’s Largest Debut with $123.0MNovember 23, 2014 08:33 AM

by Daniel Garris

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.

Weekend domestic gross

YearWeekendTop 10 GrossChg. LY%Total GrossChg. LY% Top movie of the week
198348 (Dec 02 - Dec 04) - 1983$14,071,151-43%$15,622,894-40%Terms of Endearment
198448 (Nov 30 - Dec 02) - 1984$19,313,11237%$22,030,63241%Missing in Action
198548 (Nov 29 - Dec 01) - 1985$41,899,609117%$44,845,382104%Rocky IV
199448 (Dec 02 - Dec 04) - 1994$44,705,283-34%$48,322,082-37%The Santa Clause
198948 (Dec 01 - Dec 03) - 1989$48,324,005-2%$49,741,403-11%Back to the Future Part II
198748 (Nov 27 - Nov 29) - 1987$47,960,218-5%$51,630,869-9%Three Men and a Baby
199048 (Nov 30 - Dec 02) - 1990$53,003,27310%$54,459,1839%Home Alone
198848 (Nov 25 - Nov 27) - 1988$49,421,4923%$56,018,7808%Scrooged
198648 (Nov 28 - Nov 30) - 1986$50,650,76021%$56,709,25926%Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
199548 (Dec 01 - Dec 03) - 1995$59,294,31033%$61,342,12027%Toy Story
199148 (Nov 29 - Dec 01) - 1991$67,570,80127%$69,649,36428%The Addams Family
199348 (Nov 26 - Nov 28) - 1993$67,984,479-28%$76,915,289-21%Mrs. Doubtfire
201148 (Dec 02 - Dec 04) - 2011$70,104,824-58%$81,053,794-55%The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
200748 (Nov 30 - Dec 02) - 2007$68,337,819-11%$84,269,673-10%Enchanted
200548 (Dec 02 - Dec 04) - 2005$73,341,684-50%$86,100,242-47%Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
200048 (Dec 01 - Dec 03) - 2000$80,007,102-44%$88,563,123-45%How the Grinch Stole Christmas
200148 (Nov 30 - Dec 02) - 2001$79,719,7610%$89,748,2951%Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
200648 (Dec 01 - Dec 03) - 2006$77,025,1475%$93,246,6178%Happy Feet
199248 (Nov 27 - Nov 29) - 1992$95,071,93541%$97,079,20139%Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
199748 (Nov 28 - Nov 30) - 1997$95,033,750-11%$103,939,528-4%Flubber
199648 (Nov 29 - Dec 01) - 1996$106,879,03480%$108,126,48076%101 Dalmatians (1996)
201248 (Nov 30 - Dec 02) - 2012$100,734,68844%$114,364,86441%The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
199848 (Nov 27 - Nov 29) - 1998$112,913,64919%$125,579,05621%A Bug's Life
200248 (Nov 29 - Dec 01) - 2002$127,059,97259%$150,174,81567%Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
199948 (Nov 26 - Nov 28) - 1999$142,915,24627%$159,710,59227%Toy Story 2
200348 (Nov 28 - Nov 30) - 2003$139,965,97510%$161,648,5128%Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat
200448 (Nov 26 - Nov 28) - 2004$146,207,0434%$162,076,9360%National Treasure
200848 (Nov 28 - Nov 30) - 2008$152,335,420123%$162,600,07693%Four Christmases
201048 (Nov 26 - Nov 28) - 2010$167,833,958-3%$181,006,699-2%Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
200948 (Nov 27 - Nov 29) - 2009$172,372,60113%$184,473,27013%The Twilight Saga: New Moon
201348 (Nov 29 - Dec 01) - 2013$189,483,14288%$208,102,80682%The Hunger Games: Catching Fire