Box-office roundup – Nov. 23, 2014 – “Mockingjay” soars, but doesn’t catch “Fire”

The-Hunger-Games-Mockingjay-Part-1-Jennifer-Lawrence-and-Liam-Hemsworth-aiming1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – $123 million [debut week] While the third entry in “The Hunger Games” saga had the year’s best opening the bigger story was how this was the lowest opening of the three films in the series thus far. Both previous installments grossed at least $152 million. The first sequel, “Catching Fire” Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) opened to $158 million last year. It’s likely audiences didn’t appreciate the finale being split into two parts and not a sign of franchise fatigue or being over star Jennifer Lawrence. [Bonus: check out The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – soundtrack here: Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1] There’s still reasons for distributor Lionsgate to be optimistic for a grand finale though. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” earned $295 million, but the second chapter and series finale Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 & 2 [Blu-ray] grossed a sensational $381 million.

Disney Hiro and Baymax

2. Big Hero 6 – $20 million [3rd week; $135.7 million in total] Disney’s latest animated film Big Hero 6 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) was a very distant second, but it kept families coming for a third straight week. It will get some competition in the family market this Wednesday with the opening of “Penguins of Madagascar,” which will prove the real staying power of Hiro and Baymax.

interstellar-matthew-mcconaughey-3. Interstellar – $15.1 million [3rd week; $120.6 million] Christopher Nolan’s space odyssey is holding steady, but it still has a ways to go before making back its $165 million budget on the domestic front. The Thanksgiving weekend should prove telling on its long-term prospects.

4. Dumb and Dumber To – $13.8 million [2nd week; $57.4 million] Last week’s champ didn’t have great odds of repeating, but it fell all the way down to fourth place, losing out to the consistent performers since the start of November. Expect this to drop from the Top 5 next week.

gone-girl-Ben Affleck5. Gone Girl – $2.8 million [8th week; $156.8 million] What’s crazy about this film’s performance is how once the inevitable award nominations come in, there will be more people clamoring to see it making the early fall release smart to set up another wide release for January. Check out the book that inspired one of the year’s biggest hits here: Gone Girl: A Novel