Nov 24, 2015

    Hunger Games film's box office hits franchise low


    THE fourth and final movie in The Hunger Games series ruled the North American box offices over the weekend, although the debut was also a franchise low, early results showed on Sunday.

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 raked in US$101 million (S$143 million) in ticket sales in its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, according to ticket sales tracker Exhibitor Relations.

    This ranks as the year's fifth biggest opening, but it falls short of the forecast that the picture would top US$120 million in its initial weekend in theatres.

    It also represents a low for the series, falling far short of the US$158.1 million high-water mark established by 2013's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It was a sign, perhaps, that interest in the dystopian world of Panem in the movies - which turned Jennifer Lawrence into a Hollywood mega-star - has crested.

    Nevertheless, The Hunger Games movie franchise, based on a trio of best-selling young adult fantasy novels by Suzanne Collins, had already grossed some US$2.2 billion worldwide before the latest opening, according to Lionsgate, the studio that produced the films.

    The books and the movies tell the story of Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence), a teenage heroine pitched into a deadly battle for survival in a macabre dystopian world.

    The series made up some ground overseas, picking up US$147 million after debuting in nearly every significant foreign territory, including China.

    With a worldwide haul of US$247 million, it was less than the US$274.9 million global kickoff of Mockingjay - Part 1 and far below the US$300 million weekend that some analysts had predicted.

    "Across the board, this is just down and it's a direct reflection of how people thought about (Mockingjay - Part 1)," said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. "That was not a film. It was just a trailer."