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Box office preview: 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,' 'Krampus'

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Murray Close

Katniss Everdeen and Rocky Balboa helped boost Thanksgiving box office totals last week. But the post-holiday weekend is notoriously one of the worst of the year, and with only one major release hitting theaters on Friday, it’s shaping up to be a pretty quiet weekend at the box office.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 topped the Thanksgiving frame with $52 million over three days and $76 million over five, and the Girl on Fire is expected to spend her third straight weekend at No. 1. Krampus is opening in 2,899 theaters, and with an expected debut in the low teens, the holiday-themed horror is looking at a fourth-place finish.

Here’s how this weekend’s box office race might play out:

1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 — $20.8 million

Although Mockingjay – Part 2 failed to fly as high as the previous Hunger Games installments, it still opened to a whopping $102.7 million, and has gone on to gross $204.2 million domestically and $447.9 million around the globe. The first Mockingjay, which premiered on the same weekend last year, fell about 60 percent the weekend after Thanksgiving. If Part 2 does the same, it will gross just shy of $21 million.

2. The Good Dinosaur — $19.6 million

Pixar’s second film of the year debuted to less than half of what Inside Out earned over the summer, only opening to $39.2 million over three days and $55.5 million over five. Not only does that make The Good Dinosaur the second Pixar film ever not to debut at No. 1 (Inside Out was the first), but it’s the lowest three-day Pixar debut since Toy Story opened back in 1995. (Adjusted for inflation, Toy Story’s $29.1 million debut is closer to $55.9 million in today’s dollars.)

Still, The Good Dinosaur landed the fourth-biggest Thanksgiving debut in box office history, and it’s expected to see a standard second-weekend drop of roughly 50 percent. That still makes Mockingjay the favorite to win the weekend, but if The Good Dinosaur holds up better than expected, it could follow in Inside Out’s footsteps and take first place after a No. 2 debut.

3. Creed — $17.8 million

Even though Mockingjay and The Good Dinosaur won the weekend, the biggest box office story of Thanksgiving was Creed, which bested expectations to debut at $29.6 million over three days and $42.1 million over five. Not adjusting for inflation, that’s the biggest Rocky opening of all time. Creed has been embraced by both critics and audiences alike, which should help it see a second-weekend drop of only about 40 percent.

RELATED: See how Team Creed found just the right moment to use the Rocky theme

4. Krampus — $12 million

Christmas just got a little creepier, as Michael Dougherty’s Krampus is set to usher in December by telling the story of Santa’s demonic counterpart. The PG-13-rated horror comedy stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette, and David Koechner, and while it’s hard to find similar films to compare it to — when’s the last time a Christmas-themed horror comedy hit theaters? — Krampus is expected to debut in the low teens.

5. Spectre — $5.8 million

After four weeks in theaters, the latest James Bond film has raked in more than $178.4 million domestically and $751.9 million worldwide. Skyfall fell about 55 percent in the weekend after Thanksgiving, and Spectre is expected to perform similarly, bringing in about $5.8 million in its fifth weekend.  

The Mother Theresa biopic The Letters will also open nationwide in about 1,000 theaters, starring Juliet Stevenson as Mother Theresa. At the specialty box office, Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq is debuting in just over 300 theaters, and Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, and Youth, starring Michael Caine and Jane Fonda, are both rolling out in a handful of locations. 

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