The saga of Katniss Everdeen came to a close this weekend as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opened to an estimated $101 million.
That’s the lowest debut of any of the Hunger Games movies and under initial predictions of $120 million. When the big-screen depiction of Suzanne Collins’ Panem debuted in March 2012, it brought in $152.5 million, the biggest opening ever for a movie with a female lead. The next year, Catching Fire beat its record and stretched to $158.1 million. Last year’s Mockingjay – Part 1 saw a slight dip, opening to $121.9 million, and early predictions had Part 2 debuting close to that.
While Mockingjay didn’t manage to soar as high as the earlier installments, the $160 million film still notched the fifth-biggest debut of the year, making it one of only five films to debut above $100 million. And although Mockingjay 2 wasn’t as critically adored as the first two films, it earned an A- CinemaScore. Globally, it reeled in $247 million, and even though Mockingjay couldn’t catch Catching Fire’s box office records, it bumped up the franchise’s worldwide total to a staggering $2.55 billion.
As far as films not set in Panem go, holdovers and newcomers alike fell to Katniss’ arrow, as no other movie in theaters managed to crack $15 million. The Christmas-themed comedy The Night Before, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie, and Seth Rogen, hauled in $10.1 million. Thanks to positive word-of-mouth (it earned an A- CinemaScore) and a lack of other R-rated comedies, it could hold up well over the next few weeks.
The weekend’s final new wide release, the crime thriller Secret In Their Eyes, rounded out the top five with $6.6 million. With a star-studded cast including Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Secret In Their Eyes earned a B- CinemaScore.
Spectre and The Peanuts Movie held second and third place, as 007 brought in $14.6 million and Charlie Brown made $12.8 million. Spectre’s domestic total is now at $153.7 million, while The Peanuts Movie has made $98.9 million.
At the specialty box office, the Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara-starring Carol had a standout debut, opening to $248,149 in only four theaters for a strong start of $62,037 per location. The gangster drama Legend, starring Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy, also debuted in four locations, earning $82,884 for an average just over $20,000.
Spotlight, another limited release, also had a strong weekend as it expanded to just shy of 600 locations, bringing in an estimated $3.6 million. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams, the drama finally moved into the top 10, and after three weekends, its domestic total is now at $5.9 million.
Overall, box office receipts were down about 11 percent from last year, when the first Mockingjay opened. Here are this weekend’s top five at the box office:
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 — $101 million
2. Spectre — $14.6 million
3. The Peanuts Movie — $12.8 million
4. The Night Before — $10.1 million
5. Secret In Their Eyes — $6.6 million