‘Hunger Games’ Feasts at Thanksgiving Box Office; ‘Creed,’ ‘Dinosaur’ Divide Leftovers

Katniss Everdeen ruled on Thanksgiving Day as “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” dominated at the nation’s multiplexes with $10.4 million, bringing the film to a first-week U.S. total of $146.7 million.

Lionsgate’s fourth and final film in the Jennifer Lawrence franchise easily topped the two new entries — Disney’s “The Good Dinosaur,” which drew $6.55 million from 3,749 locations for a two-day total of $16.4 million, and New Line-MGM’s “Creed,” which scored $6.45 million Thursday from 3,284 theaters for a two-day total of $12.4 million.

The trio of top titles are performing in line with pre-Thanksgiving estimates and should remain solid performers for the rest of the holiday weekend. “Mockingjay 2” is expected to finish the five-day period between $70 million and $75 million, while “The Good Dinosaur” will wind up with as much as $60 million and “Creed” could come in above $40 million.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Rentrak, credited the studios with smart scheduling. “This is turning out to be quite a strong Thanksgiving holiday weekend with a wide variety of films powering solid overall numbers and the multiplex being a hub of entertainment option with films of virtually every size and shape,” he added.

However, Fox’s new entry “Victor Frankenstein” is being shunned despite stars James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe. The latest version of Mary Shelley’s horror story took in a paltry $470,000 on Thanksgiving at 2,797 locations for a two-day total of $1.1 million.

“Mockingjay 2” has also taken in $191 million internationally for a worldwide total of $338 million. It should cross the $400 million mark in worldwide grosses during the weekend.

The film debuted to a franchise-low $102.7 million last weekend in the U.S., failing to match last year’s “Mockingjay — Part 1,” which also launched last year on the weekend before Thanksgiving with $121.9 million. “Part 1” then declined 32% to $82.7 million over the five days, so “Mockingjay 2” will likely perform similarly with a decline of about 30%.

“The Good Dinosaur,” which focuses on the friendship between a dinosaur and a caveboy in an alternate universe, appears to be fulfilling its role as a favorite for family audiences over the Thanksgiving holiday. Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen” is the record holder for the holiday with a $93.6 million five-day launch in 2013.

“Creed,” starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan, is a welcome arrival for Warner Bros., which has seen a cold streak in recent months with “Pan,” “Our Brand Is Crisis” and “The 33” under-performing. The studio is releasing “Creed” via New Line; MGM co-financed and produced the $37 million film.

On the specialized front, Open Road saw impressive Thanksgiving Day grosses for “Spotlight” of $577,888 at 897 locations. The awards-season contender has hit $7.9 million in three weeks of limited release.

The Weinstein Co. has seen impressive performance so far from Cate Blanchett-Rooney Mara romance “Carol” with $385,000 at four New York and Los Angeles theaters in its first week. Focus Features is using a similar platform approach with a Friday launch of Eddie Redmayne’s drama “The Danish Girl,” which launches Friday at four locations.


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