Estimates for Ron Howard’s “In the Heart of the Sea” continue to sink, with Friday’s box office results suggesting that the new title might not win the box office this weekend, as previously expected. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” looks likely to pull ahead and score No. 1, leaving “Heart of the Sea” in its wake.
Howard’s latest, starring Chris Hemsworth, grossed nearly $4 million on Friday in 3,103 locations, portending a three-day total between $10 million and $11 million. Earlier projections had pegged the whaling pic as high as $15 million. Based on the true story that inspired Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick,” the Warner Bros. release was made for a budget of $100 million, making these opening weekend numbers disheartening.
Lionsgate’s final “Hunger Games” installment pulled in $3.3 million on Friday in 3,651 locations, putting it on track for a weekend haul of $11 million. The Jennifer Lawrence starrer bowed on Nov. 16; it has been a top box office contender every weekend since. U.S. grosses for the pic should exceed $240 million by the end of the weekend.
In a close third place is Disney-Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur,” which nabbed $2.3 million from 3,606 locations on Friday on its way to a three-day total between $9 million and $10 million. The animated pic will have amassed just shy of $90 million by the end of the weekend, should estimates hold.
The third weekend of WB’s “Creed” continues to hold its own; the boxing drama took in $3 million Friday from 3,502 locations. The seventh installment in the “Rocky” franchise, starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, should pull in $9 million for the weekend.
Also competing is Universal’s “Krampus,” now in its second frame. The Christmas horror-comedy opened to $16 million (also losing to “Mockingjay”) last weekend and generated $2.5 million in 2,919 locations Friday, on track for a second-weekend haul close to $8 million. Adam Scott and Toni Collette star.
Expect next weekend’s box office totals to blow this weekend’s out of the water — “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is coming Dec. 18.