Despite some mighty competition, Katniss and her crew dominated the box office once again. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” held on to its first-place spot in its second weekend in theaters, earning $51.6 million to top “The Good Dinosaur” and “Creed,” which both debuted Wednesday, according to Rentrak estimates on Sunday. The fourth and final installment in Lionsgate’s highly successful series has grossed $198.3 million to date.
Audiences had their pick of genres over the crowded Thanksgiving weekend. Disney and Pixar’s animated dinosaur movie took second place, bringing in $39.2 million Friday through Sunday,
while “Creed,” a new entry into the Rocky Balboa canon, came in third with $30.1 million. Families accounted for 79 percent of “The Good Dinosaur’s” audience. The film, which cost a reported $175 million to $200 million to produce, grossed $55.6 million in its first five days in theaters. “This Pixar group has just been so consistent with high-quality storytelling that appeals to all audiences. This weekend’s result is another testament to the way they do things,” said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of distribution for Disney. “We are off and running in a great way and also set up for a very, very long run.”
“Creed,” meanwhile, came out swinging. The critically acclaimed Ryan Coogler-directed film focuses on the character of Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) who wants his own shot in the ring with the help of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). The film cost $35 million to make and has earned $42.6 million over five days. Its audience has been largely male and over age 25, according to exit polls. “This is a movie that played broadly everywhere. You expect it to do well in the big markets and even the medium-size markets, but the small markets were just fantastic,” said Jeffrey Goldstein, executive vice president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “The boxing element really resonates.”
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak, said the indie sensibilities, critical response and stellar cast has made “Creed” the movie to see right now. “This is a movie that’s going to go the distance,” Dergarabedian said. James Bond film “Spectre,” with $12.8 million, and “The Peanuts Movie,” with $9.7 million, rounded out the top five. “Victor Frankenstein” was not so lucky. The $40 million revival of Mary Shelley’s monster classic, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, proved lifeless in theaters, earning just $2.35 million from Friday to Sunday. Awards hopeful “The Danish Girl,” starring Eddie Redmayne as the transgender artist Lili Elbe, also opened in four theaters with a solid $185,000.
No records were broken this Thanksgiving weekend, but that’s more of a sign of a crowded slate than the health of the box office, Dergarabedian said. “Rankings are not as important this weekend as how these films can play for the long haul,” he said. “I haven’t seen this crowded of a marketplace in years. … I don’t know how anyone would have time to see everything.” Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak.-AP