Katniss Everdeen continued to show her box office might as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 flew to the third best five-day Thanksgiving frame ever, besting a sequel and a spin-off that did not garner much audience attention. The third instalment of the Hunger Games franchise grossed $56.9 million in its sophomore weekend, a 53% drop from its year-best opening. Although the film has easily gotten the best 10-day start of any title this year, with $225.7 million already banked, it is still a good $70 million behind the pace of its predecessor, Catching Fire. Regardless, the 53% holiday drop was about even with Catching Fire‘s from this frame last year. (That film had to compete with another major female-skewing opener, though, by the name of Frozen.)
With an $82.7 million five-day tally, Mockingjay – Part 1 showed better staying power than respective part one finales from the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, which took in $75 million and $61.9 million over the same weekend, respectively. With solid word-of-mouth and little competition for female audiences until the pre-Christmas weekend, the film is nearly guaranteed to cross the $300 million mark. Its biggest challenge now is outgrossing the $331.9 million take of this year’s current box office champion, Guardians of the Galaxy.
The results were less impressive for Penguins of Madagascar, which had a moderate family-sized opening for the holiday frame. The 3D animated comedy-adventure grossed $25.8 million over the weekend, and $36 million since its start on Wednesday. Although that would be a healthy gross for many family films, considering its ties to one of DreamWorks Animation’s biggest franchises, the studio cannot be too satisfied with those earnings. The five-day start is less than two thirds the opening three-day collection of the last two Madagascar films.
The $36 million take was better than the five-day grosses for Wednesday openers Turbo ($31 million) and Rise of the Guardians ($32.3 million), but those films were considered disappointments due to their large budgets. Since Guardians performed better than expected in the month of December, likely due to its holiday subject matter, one imagines that Penguins of Madagascar will struggle to reach the final gross of that film.
Holding well in third and fourth place were two well-received adventures from Disney and Paramount. Big Hero 6 did not falter with the arrival of another animated film, and slid just 7% over the three-day frame to earn another $18.8 million. With $167.2 million so far, a final of more than $200 million seems like a good bet. Meanwhile, Interstellar jumped 3% over the weekend to take in $15.8 million. With $147.1 million in the bank so far for Christopher Nolan’s space epic, a final of around $175 million should be expected. Strong IMAX numbers and little competition for adults helped the three-hour sci-fi opus earn more this weekend than last. Big Hero 6 and Interstellar earned $26 and $22 million over the five-day frame, respectively.