Lionsgate’s ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1’ made a comparatively slow start on Friday at the North American box office but there is still time to recover. The Y.A. action adventure grossed $55m from 4,151 theatres (including Thursday night previews), being 17% and 22% below the franchise’s first two instalments respectively and leaving it on pace for a $125m opening weekend, below market expectations. But, putting things into perspective, it would still be the year’s highest debut.
Critics were less enthusiastic than with the first two but it still aggregated a decent 68% on RT. More importantly, first night audiences awarded it a powerful ‘A- CinemaScore and, with Thanksgiving weekend pending, word-of-mouth should sustain a healthy run.
The east coast freeze would have kept some at home; particular on Thursday night when it only earned $17m. Overseas, where there are no such problems, the film has made a flying start.
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