Katniss Everdeen is ready for nothing short of global domination.
The “Hunger Games” franchise comes to a close this weekend, with “Mockingjay — Part 2” hitting most major foreign markets and the U.S. for a projected worldwide haul of $300 million or higher. Roughly $120 million to $125 million of that will come from the more than 4,175 domestic theaters where the film is playing. The rest will be generated overseas.
The picture will roll out in 87 foreign territories and 33,000 screens this week for the largest global launch of the year and the biggest kick-off in the history of Lionsgate, the studio behind the hit series. That includes such major markets as Mexico, Russia, France, Japan and South Korea. The only big territories that won’t host the movie this weekend are Spain, Greece and India.
The biggest coup for the series is that it has snagged a day-and-date opening in China, the world’s second largest film market. The most recent “Hunger Games” generated $36.5 million out of China, but it was held back three months for release, which likely depressed ticket sales.
The film is expected to outgross its predecessors in the United Kingdom, Brazil and Germany, but box office was down in France. The country is still grappling with the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris, and ticket sales were down 50% in the French capital from “Mockingjay — Part 1”
The roll-out dwarfs those of previous films in the futuristic series. “Mockingjay — Part 1” debuted in 85 markets and 17,963 screens, while “Catching Fire” unspooled across 64 markets and 12,782 screens. “Mockingjay – Part 1” grossed $276.2 million globally in its initial weekend and “Catching Fire” took in $307.7 million.
The “Hunger Games” series was originally bigger stateside than it was overseas, but Suzanne Collins’ books that inspired the films have become more widely read around the globe, stoking popularity for the movies. The first “Hunger Games” earned 41% of its worldwide total from overseas territories whereas “Mockingjay — Part 1” scored more than 55% of its total gross from foreign theaters.
“Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” cost $150 million to produce and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Francis Lawrence, who has directed three of the four movies, is behind the camera again. Reviews have been solid, with critics handing the picture a 73% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.