Mockingjay fails to catch Fire – a headline that literally every other writer has already used in a week where literally nothing else happened, and Other Box Office News.
by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)
Well… Er… Hi. … … …how are you all doing? I am tired, I will tell you that much. I’m currently running on less than six hours sleep, and that is currently the lowest reason on my list as to why I could faceplant this keyboard at any second today. My life has just been non-stop these past few weeks, just one thing after another like “boom, boom, boom” without stopping. So many commitments, films to see, articles to write, essays to prep and pen, lectures to attend, radio stuff to thing-that-you-do-to-stuff… is this what being a responsible adult is like? I both hate and love it, I’ll tell you that much. Anyways, I still have a written review to crank out and a radio show to do before I can collapse onto my bed, so let’s just get this blasted article done and over with, eh?
The good news for my slowly vacating sanity, and my long vacated energy, is that there was literally only one release this past weekend. Seriously; just the one. No other saturation releases, no wide, no limited, nothing. Everything else vacated November the 21st of 2014 in order to avoid The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. For comparison’s sake, there will be two big saturation releases going up against The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies this December. That should demonstrate just how commanding an amount of power that The Hunger Games currently has, as every other release possible went “f*ck that noise!” and upped sticks. Mockingjay, Part 1, then, would prove just how much those fears were worth by underwhelming majorly opening weekend.
Now, of course, I need to specify that a $123 million opening weekend – the biggest that we have seen, and will see, all year – is not in itself underwhelming. I mean, $123 million is a lot to the likes of you and I. Unfortunately, though, we have to look at that opening through Hollywood Accounting in order to understand why people aren’t exactly rushing to break out the party poppers. For one, there’s the fact that many people had predicted Mockingjay, Part 1 to open in the $150 million range, so seeing it come up short, and so thoroughly at that, is gonna sting. For two, the previous Hunger Games both opened in the $150 mil range, and third instalments in popular franchises are supposed to not retreat so much opening weekend. For three, it didn’t magically cure Hollywood’s haemorrhaging money problem that’s been plaguing it all year, so f*ck the film.
So, yes, unfortunately The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is a major financial failure. That $123 million domestic and $152 million overseas – which combine to already make both this and Part 2 break even financially – means absolutely nothing. Jennifer Lawrence’s box office clout has been majorly hit, Lionsgate stock is plummeting to an all-time low, Elizabeth Banks will never be involved in another movie ever again because this is all her fault somehow, and it seems that the search for the next true successor to the box office invincibility that Harry Potter held for a full decade goes on!
I mean, that’s what I’m supposed to write, yeah? Because we can’t just congratulate the thing and realise that this dip only exists because it’s “Part 1 of 2”, can we? We have to get out the Doom Parade and have a whinge and a moan, don’t we? I mean, Christ, lighten up, would ya? Sure, it’s been a bad year at the box office. Let’s maybe temper the gloom with some positivity about the few films that are actually making money, eh? Instead of crying about successful movies that make executives rich arseholes not being mega-successful movies that make executives even richer arseholes.
This Full List is locking up everyone that ever laid a finger on it.
Box Office Results: Friday 21st November 2014 – Sunday 23rd November 2014
1] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
$123,000,000 / NEW
Saw this Thursday, review will be up tomorrow at some point. Short version: loved what I got, but its one flaw is major, near-fatal, and right there in the title.
2] Big Hero 6
$20,086,000 / $135,708,000
If you live in America and have seen this, know that I hate you. Nothing personal, and I love the fact that you’re making Disney films mega-smashes again, but I am stranded on the wrong side of the Atlantic being punished for something severe that I must’ve done in a past life, and so can’t see this until January as I will keep complaining about until somebody at Disney FIXES THE GODDAMN ISSUE!!
Also, turns out that The Wild, which wasn’t even made by them, is in the Disney Animated Classics canon in the UK. I’ll have to tell you about that sometime.
$15,100,000 / $120,692,000
I wrote a piece last Thursday where I lamented the lack of notable scores from 2014, and somebody wrote back listing a good 4 more than the ones I put in my article. Whilst I appreciate his disagreement and concede that none of the scores he listed jumped out at me during the viewing of those films in question, I think he may have missed the point. It’s not that 2014 hasn’t had any good scores, it’s that the majority of cinema for a good while now hasn’t bothered to try to create scores with any distinct personality. There are exceptions to the rule, but that’s what they are: exceptions, and I want those exceptions to become more frequent than they currently are.
That, or my article was terribly written and I was talking out of my arse. … …it’s probably the second one.
4] Dumb And Dumber To
$13,820,000 / $57,473,000
Mega-steep 62% drop between weekends signalling that everybody has wizened up to the fact that The Farrelly Brothers have been incapable of creating anything good for, ooh, 13 or 14 years now. You know, in case the fact that Peter Farrelly was the diabolical monster responsible for helping Movie 43 come together hadn’t already given that away.
5] Gone Girl
$2,185,000 / $156,823,000
You know what’s amazing? This is Gone Girl’s eighth straight week in the Top Five. You know what’s pretty much unbelievable? I think I’ve found a film from this year that I love more than it. Stay tuned to the site this week, you’ll know when the relevant review goes up.
6] Beyond The Lights
$2,630,000 / $10,124,000
I got nuthin’. Moving on…
7] St. Vincent
$2,354,000 / $36,613,000
I have no idea how this has managed to hang around in the Top 10 for so long. I really, really don’t. Hey! Maybe it’ll stick around for another two weeks, when it actually comes out in the UK and I can therefore actually talk about it, instead of just spouting nonsense! Wouldn’t that be something?
$1,900,000 / $79,150,000
In the most tenuous link possible – Fury, The Furious Five – allow me to use this space to ask you to check out this week’s entry into the DreamWorks Animation Retrospective, Kung Fu Panda! In fact, if you have a spare afternoon or, more accurately, a spare day, why not get caught up on the series so far? Seriously, I put a hell of a lot of effort into those and am really proud of how most of them have turned out – and I am never proud of anything I ever do, so this means a lot – so if you could take time out to give them a read and fling feedback or insults my way, it would be highly appreciated!
$1,855,000 / $14,407,000
So, I guess this isn’t going to break out of the art scene, after all. Figured as much. More pertinent question, is Birdman in any way related to Dayman? These are the questions that need answering, folks!
10] The Theory Of Everything
$1,500,000 / $2,796,000
This film is sh*t until it can prove itself otherwise. Unfortunately for it, the UK release date is New Year’s Day, so I have plenty more time to rag on just how absolutely putrid this film looks until then!
Dropped Out: Nightcrawler, Ouija