Hunger Games Prequel Rises to the Top as Marvels Sinks

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There are plenty of pros and cons at the box office this week. Let’s start with the good news. The Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes opened with a decent but unspectacular $44 million, enough to move the Francis Lawrence-directed pic to No. 1 domestically, according to Deadline.

Internationally, Songbirds collected $54.5M, including $98.5M worldwide – not just a home run for a potential franchise reboot, but also not terrible for a picture that cost $100M to produce. Deadline believes the writer’s strike had a significant impact on the lower-than-expected opening and notes that the franchise’s hopes depend on foreign sales. There is also hope that the holidays (and lackluster competition) will bring these stiff legs, so we will have to wait and see how the final numbers look.

Trolls Band Together also hit theaters and earned $30.6M, less than the $46.6M earned by the original Trolls in 2016, but considering Trolls: World Tour opened on PVOD during the pandemic loose, this is a great start for the Universal franchise.

More importantly, the commercial notes that Trolls opened less than a week before Disney’s Wish, which seems ridiculous. “No,” says one rival studio executive, “If this was seven years ago, you’d have to worry about Disney. But with their brand rusting, you don’t have to worry about them anymore.” Peace.

Speaking of which, The Marvels fell hard in its second weekend, dipping -78% (the second biggest drop for the studio) and earning $10.2M. The superhero feature has collected a little over $65M domestically and $161M worldwide.

Elsewhere, Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving pulled in $10.2M thanks to positive reviews, while Searchlight’s Next Goal Wins (from Taika Waititi) was sixth with $2.5M.


1.) Hunger Games: Catching Fire (LG) 3,776 theaters Fri $19.1M Sat $15M Sun $9.9M 3-day $44M/Wk 1

2.) Trolls Band Together (Uni/DWA) 3,870 theaters Fri $9.35M Sat $12.2M Sun $8.97M 3-day $30.6M/Total $31.7M

3.) The Marvels (Dec) 4,030 theaters Fri $2.8M Sat $4.4M Sun $3M 3-day $10.2M (-78%) Total $65M/Wk 2

4.) Thanksgiving (Sony) 3,204 theaters, Fri $3.8M Sat $3.86M Sun $2.5M 3-day $10.2M/Wk 1

5.) Five Nights at Freddy’s (Uni) 2,829 (-865) theaters, Fri $940K Sat $1.57M Sun $990K 3-day $3.5M (-61%), $132.6M/Wk 4 total

6.) The Holdovers Theaters (Foc) 1478 (+700) Fri $800K Sat $1.1M Sun $780K/3-Day $2.7M (-16%), $8.35M/Wk 4 Total

7.) Next Goal Wins (Sea) 2,240 theaters Fri $1.1M Sat $822K Sun $578K 3-day $2.5M/Wk 1

8.) Taylor Swift: Eras Tour (AMC) 1,573 (-1275) theaters, Fri $655K Sat $1M Sun $745K 3-day $2.4M (-61%)/Total $175.3M/Wk 6

9.) Priscilla (A24) 1,802 (-559) theaters, Fri $731K Sat $922K Sun $673K 3-Day$2.32M (-50%), Total $16.98M/Wk 4

10.) Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple/Par) 1,714 (-1,643) theaters Fri $530K Sat $840K Sun $550K 3-day $1.92M (-58%)/Total $63.5M/Wk 5

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