For the second year in a row, Katniss Everdeen stands alone atop the box office heap. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, which opened in November and is still playing in over 1,200 theaters, has earned $333.18 million as of yesterday, surpassing the Marvel blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy as the top-grossing movie of 2014. Despite already being released on Blu-ray and DVD, Guardians of the Galaxy is still playing, though it was only screening in 65 theaters nationwide last weekend, meaning its domestic take of $333.17 million won't increase too much over the next few weeks.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 still has some work to do if it wants to surpass its predecessor, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which was 2013's top movie at the box office with $424.7 million. While That movie's take was bolstered by 3D and IMAX screenings, Deadline's sources claim that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 was screened in, "350 non-IMAX-brand large-format venues," where it earned $10 million. Ironically, last January, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire surpassed another Marvel movie, Iron Man 3 ($409 million), as the top-grossing movie for 2013. The first Hunger Games, released in 2012, was the third-highest grossing movie of that year with $408 million, behind The Dark Knight Rises ($448.1 million) and Marvel's The Avengers ($623.3 million).
This marks the first time that two movies in a franchise were the #1 movie annually for two years in a row, a feat that wasn't accomplished by powerhouse franchises such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Twilight. This is also the first time that one studio (Lionsgate) has nabbed the top spot in consecutive years. The Hunger Games franchise closes out later this year with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, so it's possible that this franchise's box office streak will continue in 2015. There will be plenty of competition standing in its way, most notably Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Do you think The Hunger Games franchise can pull off a three-peat against such box office heavyweights? Chime in with your thoughts below.