Despite being a hit with the critics, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 was less so with audiences, pulling in a franchise-low of $102 million during its opening weekend, according to official figures.
Relative to the series’ trailblazing success, analysts deemed the film’s opening performance to be a disappointment, with Mockingjay – Part 2 now standing as the lowest-ranking installment of all four films based on its opening box office weekend.
For the sake of perspective, Catching Fire holds the crown for the highest opening in the series, reaching $158 million in 2013, closely followed by the original Hunger Games at $152 million. As such, considering that Mockingjay – Part 1 clocked in with $121 million after its first weekend, it would appear that interest in the dystopian YA series began to wane as it neared its two-part finale. Burning bright before fading away.[zergpaid]
That’s hardly surprising, either. Not only has Lionsgate come up against tough genre competition in recent years – The Maze Runner and The Divergent Series, for instance – but releasing four blockbusters films in as many years errs on the side of franchise fatigue. This, according to analyst Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations, ultimately clipped the wings of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 even before release.
“Who has ever had to defend an $100 million opening before? They do because of how big a success the first two films were and how big a drop the last two had. That quick a fall off shows that you can’t churn these movies out. It’s a learning point for the industry.”
Make no mistake, Mockingjay – Part 2 was comfortably ahead of any of its nearest competitors, with both The Secret in Their Eyes and Jonathan Levine’s festive comedy The Night Before struggling to break past $10 million.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is out now in theaters. To get the skinny on Katniss’ final bow, check out our own review.