'Mockingjay' Mocks Turkey Day And Wins November - Weeks 2-5 | The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 | Spectre | The Peanuts Movie

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'Mockingjay' Mocks Turkey Day And Wins November - Weeks 2-5

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -  Part 2
The Peanuts Movie
The Good Dinosaur
The Night Before
Love The Coopers

So, apparently, November happened. Let's take a trip in our DeLorean, crank it up to 88 MPH, and see what transpired in that not so distant past.

To be fair, in Week 2 of the Holiday Movie Pool no one missed anything because nothing new happened. Sure, there was the annual family-get-together holiday movie that no one ever really goes to see, and as the tradition holds, no one really saw Love the Coopers this year. Maybe it would've been more appropriate to title it Like Just A Little The Coopers.

In the absence of competition, both Spectre and The Peanuts Movie monopolized most of the movie goers. Spectre fell about 50% (not too shabby after a big opening) and Peanuts fell 45% (not too bad for a kids movie, but if you want a comparison, both Big Hero 6 and Wreck-It Ralph had drops in the 30's after their first week in November debuts). Mostly, it felt like Week 2 was just treading water and waiting for the real fireworks that happen when dour people fight against arrogant repressors... cause that's always fun.

In Week 3, a funny thing happened along the way in The Hunger Games franchise. After catching fire with Catching Fire's amazing $158 million start (yes, that's more than twice what Spectre just opened with), all the momentum seemed to burn out. Whether people were turned off in the obvious money-grab to split Mockingjay into two movies or they all realized that the last book wasn't exactly a bucket of sunshine, folks just didn't seem that enthused when Mockingjay - Part 1 was released. Any hopes of the studio thinking movie-goers were just waiting for Part 2 fell apart as soon as Mockingjay - Part 2 opened $20 million worse than Part 1. Oops.

While certainly not a flop and the producers probably did make more money as the two films will gross together more than one bigger hit, it's never a good trend when your big finale peters out. Twilight's Breaking Dawn - Part 2 was bigger than Part 1, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was bigger than Part 1, Return of the King was bigger than The Two Towers, and even The Hobbit's Battle of the Five Armies was at least able to make as much as The Desolation of Smaug. Right now Mockingjay - Part 2 has made $110 million less than Part 1 and after this week's $18 million weekend, it's not going to get close to that. Perhaps all the mania and fandom for the Hunger Games ended with the books in 2010 when people were still asking The Kickback to Teach Me How To Dougie.

One final, sad passing not for Week 3... Whereas I'd hoped (and predicted) The Night Before would follow the path of Neighbors and This Is The End, it instead followed the path of The Interview. Not in being banned in theaters, but by being banned by movie-goers. Seth Rogan, I put my faith in you in a Movie Pool. I won't make that mistake again!

The Thanksgiving Weekend is usually a thankful time for theater owners as people flock to escape their relatives, Black Friday crowds, and Adele on the radio 24/7. While most still went for some Mockingjay leftovers as it fell around 50% from its previous weekend, two new movies made some room at the table. The Good Dinosaur was not the normal Pixar smash, yet it's $55.5 million over five days should show some turkey-sized legs as it's a month until the next family film. Likewise, the surprise "Hey, it's actually good!" backwards compliments of Creed were good enough for a $42.1 million haul over the Thanksgiving break. That's almost double what 2006's Rocky Balboa made in five days and that was considered a minor hit. Could Creed score a knock-out and surprise the Holiday Top Five?

Finally, the week after Thanksgiving is typically a wash as major studios don't tend to release new movies and independents offer scraps. Interestingly, the scraps were devoured as the horror-comedy Krampus, about the "other" side of St. Nick, made a holly jolly $16.3 million. For a film that only cost $15 million to make and with positive word of mouth, this should bode very well this season and as a cult-hit for annual seasons to come... unlike The Night Before. .. Insert deep sigh...

The Top Five If Today Was MLK Day:
#1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 - $227.4 million
#2. Spectre - $184.6 million
#3. The Peanuts Movie - $121.5 million
#4. The Good Dinosaur - $75.8 million
#5. Creed - $64.6 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/08/2015

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Creed, Krampus, Love The Coopers, Spectre, The Good Dinosaur, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, The Night Before, The Peanuts Movie
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