Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ (Photo by Murray Close)
The Hunger Games film franchise spread out three books into four movies and while that was financially a smart play by the studio, it meant Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2 both felt a bit diluted. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 wasn’t able to match the domestic opening weekends of any of the previous three films, although at a $101 million I’m sure Lionsgate’s not crying about Part 2‘s domestic box office take. Still, it seems to suggest audiences are fine with the fact the series has come to an end and to confirm studios should re-think stretching trilogies into four films. The second film of the series, Catching Fire, stands at 89% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes while Mockingjay Part 1 registered only a 65% fresh rating (Mockingjay Part 2 earned a slightly higher rating at 71% fresh) reflecting the fact there just wasn’t much to the third film’s story and that it felt like filler.
The R-rated holiday comedy The Night Before also opened this weekend, barely making it over the $10 million mark but still performing better than The Secret in Their Eyes despite that film’s star power of Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It’s likely that both films will drop to the bottom of the top 10 list over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend as Creed, Victor Frankenstein, and The Good Dinosaur arrive in theaters.