The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 cleared $100 million but still underperformed relative to the rest of the franchise, according to studio estimates released today.
The film dominated the box office with a $101 million take, but pre-release projections were setting the film in the vicinity of $125 million domestic this weekend. The film is the fifth movie in 2015 to open with more than $100 million at the domestic box office.
Mockingjay Part One managed $121 million last year, which was still $30 million less than the previous two Hunger Games films.
Of course nothing else is going to be close. SPECTRE, which took the previous two weekends at the box office, generated $14 million -- that's just a little over ten percent of The Hunger Games. Mockingjay made about as much as the rest of the top ten entirely this weekend, even as SPECTRE and The Peanuts Movie performed better than expectations in their third weeks.
Part Two of the finale had been expected to outperform Part One, based on recent history: both Twilight and Harry Potter split their finales, and saw the second-to-last movie generate less than the last one. In the case of The Hunger Games, splitting the book was inevitable since the first two reshaped the cinematic landscape and there were only three books -- one of which, Mockingjay, wasn't nearly as well-reviewed as the first two.
It's likely that Mockingjay -- the first half of which scored just 65% on Rotten Tomatoes -- would always have done less money than Catching Fire, which scored 89%, but splitting it into two films allowed the studio to double-dip on those fans truly invested in the series -- and obviously there are plenty of those, given the $100 million-plus openings for each of the four installments.
Even if it makes just $102 million, THR projects the final installment in the franchise will do even better globally, generating about $250 million.
Rounding out the top five at the box office were The Night Before, The Peanuts Movieand The Secret In Their Eyes.