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    November 25, 2014


    This weekend, the third instalment in “The Hunger Games” series opened with an estimated gross of $123.0 million in North America. With that estimate, Mockingjay Part 1 easily surpasses the previous record holder of $100.04 million by Transformers: Age of Extinction, but the concern here is that the opening is remarkably lower than the first two instalments. Mockingjay Part 1 lags behind 2012’s The Hunger Games by 19.4% ($152.54 million) and last year’s Catching Fire by 22.2% ($158.07 million). Although Mockingjay Part 1 is expected to open below Catching Fire due to the absence of IMAX boost, the number is certainly lower than expected. Industry tracking has estimated that it will open somewhere around $130 to $155 million.

    Nevertheless, Mockingjay Part 1 has the highest opening weekend of the year, the 6th largest opening of November and the 15th largest opening of all-time. Mockingjay Part 1 started the weekend with $55.15 million on Friday, followed by $40.75 million on Saturday and $27.1 million on Sunday. The Friday ratio was at 0.448, which is comparable to Catching Fire’s 0.449. Based on the weekend analysis, the trajectory and pattern for all the three movies are almost the same. The lower opening of Mockingjay Part 1 could be attributed by these factors: (1) No IMAX boost, (2) Audiences unsure if they want to watch the first half of the least successful book, and (3) Marketing has been light.

    On a longer run, the only advantages Mockingjay Part 1 has, are: (1) The Thanksgiving weekend, next week, which traditionally give some boost to the receipt, and (2) It will not experience direct competition at least until Exodus: Gods and Kings in next two weeks. It received an A- rating on CinemaScore. We estimated the final gross of Mockingjay Part 1 between $310 and $330 million.

    On the foreign fronts, Mockingjay Part 1 scored an impressive $152 million from 85 overseas markets. The weekend’s top markets include the UK ($19.9 million), Germany ($13.7 million), and Mexico ($12.1 million); all of which opened higher than Catching Fire. Other huge openings included Russia's $11.1 million, France's $10.5 million and Australia's $10.1 million.

    For the rest of the weekend’s chart in North America, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniel’s Dumb and Dumber To, experienced a big retreat, falling three spots from last week’s champ to number four this week. The road trip comedy garnered only $13.82 million for a total $57.47 million. It looks like the $100 million prospect for the poorly-received comedy is diminishing with time. Big Hero 6, Interstellar and Gone Girl held on well despite the arrival of Mockingjay.

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