Sony's Spectre has helped breathe new life into the sagging box office since opening on November 6, which has taken in $128.9 million in its first two weeks of release. As successful as this run has been, 007's reign at the top will come to an end this weekend with the release of Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, which, according to the projections from Pro.BoxOffice.com, is aiming to bring in $123 million in its opening weekend. Movies of this size and scope often have the weekend to itself, with no other studios trying to compete with a guaranteed blockbuster, but The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will go up against Sony Pictures' The Night Before and STX Entertainment's Secret in Their Eyes, neither of which stand a chance of taking home the top spot.
If The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 does hit these projections, it will be the third-highest opening weekend out of the four franchise hits. The Hunger Games opened in 2012 with $152.5 million, followed by 2013's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which opened with a franchise-high $158 million, and last year's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 with $121.8 million. The franchise has taken in $2.2 billion worldwide since opening just three years ago, and while The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 may be the end of Katniss' (Jennifer Lawrence) story, there have been rumors of spinoffs and other sequels that are being developed by Lionsgate.
With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends - including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) - Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.
Spectre is expected to drop to second place during its third weekend with a predicted $16.7 million. Spectre should have no trouble reaching $200 million or possibly even $300 million domestically, but this action-packed adventure is really raking it in overseas. The blockbuster has taken in $413.8 million in international markets for a current worldwide tally of $542.8 million after just two weeks in theaters. It's certainly possible that it could become only the second 007 movie to crack the $1 billion worldwide landmark, following 2012's Skyfall.
The Night Before is expected to open in third place with $15 million. The new comedy stars Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie as three friends who gather together every year on Christmas Eve, a tradition that is about to come to an end. They set out to find what is known as the Holy Grail of Christmas parties to bring their tradition to a close with a bang. The supporting cast includes Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Randall Park and Michael Shannon. The Peanuts Movie is expected to drop to fourth place with $14.8 million, with Secret in Their Eyes rounding out the top 5 with $9.5 million.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is expected to open in more than 4,000 theaters this weekend, followed by The Night Before with 2,700 theaters and Secret in Their Eyes with 2,400 theaters. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is already scoring big with critics, earning a healthy 81% "Fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, with The Night Before earning a respectable 71% "Fresh" rating. There aren't enough reviews available for Secret in Their Eyes, which features an all-star cast of Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kelly and Dean Norris. The thriller follows an FBI investigator (Julia Roberts) whose daughter has been kidnapped.
Rounding out the top 10 will be Love the Coopers ($4.3 million), The Martian ($3.8 million), The 33 ($2.9 million), Goosebumps ($2.2 million) and Bridge of Spies ($2 million). The little-known Bollywood musical Prem Ratan Dhan Payo made a surprise splash by cracking the top 10 last weekend, taking eighth place with $2.4 million. The film only opened in 287 theaters, bringing in an impressive $8,452 per-screen average, but unless there are plans for a significant theater expansion, it isn't expected to crack the top 10 in its second weekend. The film stars Salman Khan as a prince who is recovering from an assassination attempt, four days after his coronation, who is replaced by a benevolent lookalike.
Also opening in limited release is Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Legend starring Tom Hardy, which expands nationwide on December 11, #Horror starring Chloë Sevigny and Timothy Hutton and Mediterranea. Carol is considered an early awards season favorite, after debuting at the Cannes Film Festival this May and hitting the film festival circuit throughout the summer. Both Carol and Legend are opening in four theaters this weekend, but unlike Legend, it isn't known if there are plans to expand Carol nationwide.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new movies will open in wide release, Warner Bros.' Creed starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan, 20th Century Fox's Victor Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, and Pixar's The Good Dinosaur. All three films will open this Wednesday, November 25, just before the Thanksgiving holiday, with three more films opening in limited release on Friday, November 27. The Danish Girl, another awards season contender starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander and Amber Heard, opens alongside a pair of documentaries, Janis: Little Girl Blue and Killing them Safely. Take a look at the box office projections for the weekend of November 20, and check back Sunday for the estimates.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:
|1||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2|
|3||The Night Before|
|4||The Peanuts Movie|
|5||Secret in Their Eyes|
|6||Love the Coopers|
|10||Bridge of Spies|