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Box Office: ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’ Aims for $102 Million Weekend

The final chapter in the “Hunger Games” saga, “Mockingjay — Part 2,” is on track to hit a $102 million bullseye in its opening weekend, based on Friday receipts.

The fourth installment in the Jennifer Lawrence-led series hit a total of $46 million Friday at 4,175 locations, handily topping all other titles at the box office. The Lionsgate release started strong in Thursday night previews, generating $16 million. Earlier estimates had pegged the actioner’s three-day total around $110 million. This marks the lowest opening day in the “Hunger Games” franchise.

The three earlier “Hunger Games” pics performed mightily at the box office, combining for $2.3 billion in worldwide grosses. “Mockingjay — Part 1” opened to $121.9 million domestically following the first film’s $152.5 million launch and “Catching Fire’s” $158.1 million kickoff.

Should it hit its expected mark, “Mockingjay — Part 2” will be the year’s fifth-biggest U.S. opening, behind “Jurassic World” ($208.8 million), “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($191.3 million), “Furious 7” ($147.2 million) and “Minions” ($115.7 million).Variety‘s Peter Debruge had high praise for the fourth “Hunger Games” pic in his review, saying it contains “one of the heartiest character arcs ever afforded a young female protagonist.”

“Spectre,” the 24th James Bond film, had the second-highest Friday total, pulling in $4.3 million on its way to a weekend total around $14 million. The Daniel Craig starrer from EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sony, should cross $150 million in domestic receipts by the end of the weekend. Fox release “Peanuts,” another holdover, will finish behind “Spectre,” having pulled in just shy of $3 million en route to a weekend haul of $12 million.

Sony’s “The Night Before,” starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie, will finish the weekend in fourth place. The holiday comedy generated $3.5 million in 2,960 locations on Friday, which forecasts a weekend total around $10 million.

STX’s “The Secret in Their Eyes” pulled in $2.3 million Friday night and should accumulate around $7 million over its first three days in 2,392 locations, a soft opening despite the star power of Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

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