Only in an era of insanely inflated expectations (and budgets) could an opening weekend gross of $123 million be considered a disappointment. That gigantic wad of cash is what The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 took home over the past few days. And while, yes, it’s slightly less than what its predecessors earned out the gate—both were in the $150 million range—it’s also significantly more than what any other 2014 release has managed to pocket during weekend one of release. (Its closest competitor: the latest Transformers movie, which just barely cleared the $100 million mark.)
Analysts are already working overtime to explain this “stunning” drop in patronage. Could the trailers have been better? Were the lack of actual Hunger Games the problem? Are we all still too close to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death to watch him play a character with a name as stupid as Plutarch Heavensbee? If there’s a silver lining to the dark cloud of Mockingjay becoming only the second highest-grossing movie of the year (or whatever), it’s that maybe Hollywood will quit chopping single books into multiple adaptations. The people have spoken: If you have to add a second subtitle to the title, you fucked up.
A full $100 million separated poor, nine-digit-grossing Mockingjay from its nearest competition. In Hunger Games terms, that’s like Katniss killing every other tribute and then complaining that she could have killed them a little faster and more violently. After surprising with a strong opening, last week’s winner, Dumb And Dumber To, pulled a Harry and Lloyd and totally failed to get on that bus at the end: Thanks possibly to its shittiness, the comedy fell about 62 percent to a $13.8 million second weekend—a sum that landed it in fourth place, below Big Hero 6 ($20 million) and Interstellar ($15 million). Literally none of the handful of indies that opened this weekend managed to crack even the top 30—presumably because prospective viewers were too busy not spending quite enough money on that new blockbuster that grossed roughly 250 times their budgets. But it could have been 265 times! You really blew it, Mockingjay.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.