“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” led a crowded field of box office contenders heading into the Thanksgiving holiday. The final film in the popular futuristic series nabbed $13.7 million on Wednesday, pushing its domestic haul to $136.3 million.
But two other films threatened to dethrone the blockbuster — “Creed,” a euphorically reviewed “Rocky” reboot, and “The Good Dinosaur,” a Pixar release destined to launch a thousand toylines.
Globally, “Mockingjay – Part 2” has earned nearly $320 million. It is expected to top stateside charts for the second weekend in a row with $75 million, despite debuting last weekend to a weaker than expected $102.7 million, the lowest opening for any “Hunger Games” installment.
“Creed” punched above its weight, picking up $6 million from 3,350 locations in its opening day. The Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) drama focuses on the son of Rocky Balboa rival Apollo Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan. Sylvester Stallone dons the monosyllables once again to play Balboa, the embodiment of Philadelphia fortitude. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer co-financed and produced the $37 million film with New Line, while Warner Bros. is distributing.
“The Good Dinosaur” racked up $9.8 million across more than 3,600 locations. The story of a young dinosaur separated from his family cost just under $200 million to produce and marks the first time that Pixar has released two films in one calendar year. The other picture, “Inside Out,” was a favorite with critics who ranked it among the studio’s best. Reviewers have given “Good Dinosaur” solid notices, but they have been more muted in their appraisals.
Both “Creed” and “The Good Dinosaur” are poised to gorge over the five-day holiday period. The opening of The Good Dinosaur” appears to be roaring to $63 million for the long weekend and “Creed” will weigh in around the $35 million range.
Fox’s “Victor Frankenstein,” the holiday’s other new wide release, will be left out of the feasting. The attempt to revive Mary Shelley’s scientist with a god complex is stillborn, earning $620,000 from 2,797 locations. The $40 million film should end the holiday with a paltry $7 million. James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe co-star.
The studio had better luck with “The Peanuts Movie,” which has added $2.4 million to its $105.6 million bounty.
“Spectre,” the latest James Bond adventure, burnished its $160.6 million domestic gross with an additional $2.7 million on Wednesday. It should pass the North American totals of “Casino Royale” ($167.4 million) and “Quantum of Solace” ($168.4 million) by the end of the week, but seems unlikely to match the high-water mark set by Daniel Craig with “Skyfall” ($304.4 million).
Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest periods of the year for moviegoing. It arrives as exhibitors are despairing that films like “Spectre” and “Mockingjay – Part 2” are failing to match the results of previous chapters in their franchises and as a number of adult dramas, such as “By the Sea” and “The Secret in Their Eyes,” have bellyflopped.