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Lionsgate Stock Slides Following ‘Mockingjay’ Opening

Lionsgate stock has declined by 5% after the early grosses for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” came in behind those of “Catching Fire.”

The stock closed down $1.76 to $33.25 in  trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

After the market opened Friday, Lionsgate reported that “Mockingjay” grossed an estimated $17 million Thursday night as it began its roll out in North America.

That’s 33% behind last year’s massive $25.3 million Thursday night launch for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” but is also the top Thursday night number this year by far — 60% more than “Guardians of the Galaxy” at $11.2 million.

Lionsgate stock tumbled more than 10% on the Monday after last year’s opening of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — despite the film grossing $158 million in its first weekend in the U.S. and $146 million internationally as the numbers fell short of the most bullish projections.

Analysts forecast that “Mockingjay — Part 1” will take in between $925 million and $1 billion worldwide, a 7% to 16% bump from the previous film’s $865 million gross.

James Marsh of Piper Jaffray cautioned that it’s difficult to extrapolate from the Thursday night numbers. “We think the weekend will do around $150 million,” he added.

Tuna Amobi of Standard and Poors said the decline may be tied to short-term investors. “There are always going to be investors who want to take profits in what’s a very volatile industry,” he added.

Lionsgate stock hit an all-time high of $37.46 on Sept. 16, 2013 — two months before “Catching Fire” opened.

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