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Box Office: ‘Mockingjay 2’ Flying to $110 Million Weekend in U.S.

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” is heading for an impressive opening weekend of $110 million — down 9% from the “Mockingjay — Part 1,” according to early Friday estimates.

Should the forecast hold, the fourth and final film in Lionsgate’s lucrative Hunger Games franchise will finish with one of the top 25 opening weekends of all time. But it will also be the lowest opening weekend of the four films.

The three previous “Hunger Games” films have set a high bar with $2.3 billion in worldwide grosses. “Mockingjay — Part 1” opened to $121.9 million in the U.S. below the first film’s $152.5 million launch and the second picture’s $158.1 million kickoff.

“Mockingjay 2” will bring in about $48 million on Friday, including $16 million in Thursday night previews. “Catching Fire” brought in $25.2 million from Thursday night screenings compared to $17 million for “Mockingjay — Part 1.” The first “Hunger Games” reeled in $19.7 million from midnight shows in March 2012.

The early U.S. grosses lifted “Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” to $43 million worldwide. It is in first place in 66 of 68 markets with 19 more territories, including China and Mexico, opening Friday. This is the largest global launch of 2015 and Lionsgate’s biggest release to date.

First day numbers out of Germany tally $3.3 million, up a massive 30% from “Mockingjay — Part 1,” and U.K. grosses hit $3 million. Germany hosted the first of half a dozen premieres.

Recent tracking suggested that “Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” would launch to $120 million to $125 million at 4,175 North American locations. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson and Julianne Moore all return for the fateful finale, directed by Francis Lawrence.

“Mockingjay — Part 2” will likely be the year’s fifth-biggest domestic opening, behind “Jurassic World” ($208.8 million), “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($191.3 million), “Furious 7” ($147.2 million) and “Minions” ($115.7 million).

Critics have found “Mockingjay — Part 2” to be a worthy sendoff for the franchise, earning it a 72% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sony’s Christmas comedy “The Night Before” grossed a modest $550,000 from 2,410 locations during Thursday night previews that began at 7 p.m. Early estimates showed Friday would come in at $4.5 million to $5.5 million, portending an opening weekend of $12 million to $14 million  for “Night,” starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie.

The pre-Thanksgiving weekend will also see the debut of STX’s crime thriller “Secret in Their Eyes” at 2,392 sites. The film launched softly with $170,000 at 1,470 locations on Thursday. Despite the star power of Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Nicole Kidman, “Eyes” is expected to finish in the $6 million to $8 million range.

The third weekends of Sony’s “Spectre” and Fox’s “The Peanuts Movie,” set to score in the mid teens, are also in the mix for runner-up.

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