This has been a somewhat disappointing year at the box office as the numbers continue to sag throughout the end of 2014. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 opened this weekend, and it opened big, taking in $55 million. This is 2014's best friday haul thus far, but when compared to previous films in the franchise, this penultimate chapter in Katniss Everdeen's saga is being considered a disappointment.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 didn't manage to surpass, or even live up to, the numbers earned by The Hunger Games in 2012 or The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in 2013. It did, however, manage to stomp on Transformers: Age of Extinction and its 2014 opening day record of $41.8 million, which the sequel earned back in July. $17 million of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1's $55 million Friday earnings came from Thursday preview screenings.

In comparison, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire brought in $70.9 million on its first Friday, opening on this same weekend in November last year. That included $25 million from Thursday previews. Kicking off the franchise in 2012, the original The Hunger Games earned $67.2 million opening in March, pulling in $19.2 million from Thursday midnight screenings.

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Many believed that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 was set for a $150 million opening weekend, at the very least, which would have put it in line with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which earned $158 million, and The Hunger Games, which took in $152.2 million. Now, factoring in its Friday take, box office pundits are placing the film at a series low of $130 million for its opening weekend.

Lionsgate also split its finale Twilight movie into two parts, with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 opening this same weekend in November back in 2011. It earned $71 million on its opening day, and went onto take $138 million throughout its opening weekend. While many thought The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 would beat this tally, it is now looking to fall short of that. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 fared better being the finale movie in the series. Though it shared Part 1's $71 million opening day take, it eventually went on to take in $141 million during its opening weekend in November of 2012.

When The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 opens this time next year, we can expect it to have an extra added push. But by how much, we'll have to wait and see.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange