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Whisper Numbers: One last feast for The Hunger Games



Three and a half years after a box office phenomenon began, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 [HGAM4] closes out the franchise that made Jennifer Lawrence [JLAWR] a megastar and set off a wave of dystopian sci-fi films targeted at young adults. Lionsgate has heavily marketed the PG-13 rated sequel, though the hype has been subdued in the wake of the terrorist attack in Paris. While the second film Catching Fire debuted with a series best $158.1 million two years ago, the third film Mockingjay Part 1 tumbled to $121.9 million last year. Franchise fatigue had set in as the story shifts to politics and war. Perhaps fans were waiting for the finale like Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga, where box office picked up with the last installment. However, advance ticket sales for Mockingjay Part 2 are not outpacing Mockingjay Part 1. Playing in 4175 theaters, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 may capture $118 million.

Spectre [JB24] is holding surprisingly as well as Skyfall even though reviews weren't as good. James Bond looks to walk away with another $18 million.

Despite the fiasco of The Interview last year, Sony is back in the Seth Rogen [SROGE] business with the R-rated stoner comedy The Night Before [XMAS]. The trailers have been funny enough to entice moviegoers looking for laughs. Pineapple Express opened with $23 million, but that was during the summer of 2008. The similar themed A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas debuted at $13 million 4 years ago. The Night Before should be able to top that with $15 million from 2960 locations.

The Peanuts Movie [PENUT] did not hold as well as expected in its second weekend, but the third weekend should level off to around $14 million.

Julia Roberts [JROBE] returns to the big screen with Secret in their Eyes [TSITE], a remake of the 2009 Argentinian film. Nicole Kidman [NKIDM] co-stars in the Pg-13 rated thriller from STX, though their combined starpower is not an automatic draw as seen recently with Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper. Reviews critical to the older adults target demo are mostly negative as well. Opening in 2392 theaters, Secret in their Eyes may uncover $8 million.

The holiday comedy Love the Coopers [TMWTM] should be able to hold 60% of its debut for another $5 million.

The critically-acclaimed Spotlight [SPOTL] looks to deliver $4 million in its expansion to 598 theaters.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.



Tag(s): HGAM4, JLAWR, JB24, SROGE, XMAS, PENUT, JROBE, TSITE, NKIDM, TMWTM, SPOTL

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, November 19, 2015 @ 01:57 PM        2468 views


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