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Weekend Box Office: Hunger Games On Top for Fourth Straight Weekend, In the Heart of the Sea Drowns

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By Chris Kavan - 12/13/15 at 09:23 PM CT

With Star Wars anticipation reaching critical levels, it seems audiences weren't much in the mood to check out anything new at the box office. In fact, the weekend could only scrape together $68.7 million - which was the lowest-grossing weekend stretching back to 1998, when Star Trek: Insurrection played. But have no fear, as next weekend it going to see several records broken and we'll see if all the buzz pays off. For now, Hollywood will just have to bide its time and lick its wounds.


Fourth times the charm, as The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2 became the second film in the series to top the box office four times in a row and the first film in 2015 since Furious 7 to earn the honor. The film brought in $11.3 million (down a bit over 40%) for a new total of $244.5 million. It will hit $250 million probably by next week (depending on just how much of an impact Star Wars has) but still remain the lowest-grossing film in the series on the domestic front. It has earned $564 million worldwide (with China still yet to go) so it will certainly wind up on a good note for the year.


Ron Howard's latest pairing with Chris Hemsworth turned out a lot like last time - disappointing. Much like the muted response to Rush, In the Heart of the Sea only managed an $11 million opening (Rush opened to $10 million). Considering the $100 million price tag, and the fact the film may only make it to $30 million, it has a lot of work if it wants to break even. It hasn't fared much better on the international front, ($18.5 million) and it faces a lot of competition this December. It did earn a decent "B+: Cinemascore from audiences, but it's not going to be enough to keep this one afloat. Originally, it was going to be released in March, but got pushed back nine months, most likely to increase its awards chances, but it now looks like that was a big mistake. I don't suspect this will be causing many waves and I expect this to exit quickly.


Poster for The Good Dinosuar Pixar's Good Dinosaur held on to the third-place spot, but it's $10.5 million (down 31.5% only brought its total to $89.6 million. By comparison, The Peanuts Movie is sitting at $125 million (after six weeks) and there is a very good chance The Good Dinosaur is going to fall short of that mark. By all accounts, this is going to be the first big miss for Pixar, as I don't see this making much of a recovery in the next few weeks. It just goes to show that no studio is bulletproof.


Coming in just behind The Good Dinosaur (as it did last weekend when the final numbers were tallied), Creed continues to roll pretty good with the punches. Off 32.5%, Creed took in $10.1 million, shooting passed the $75 million mark with a new $79.3 million total. It also officially doubled its $35 million budget and is still looking at a rock-solid $100 million finish.


The surprising Christmas-themed horror film Krampus might have taking a 51% hit, but for a horror movie, that result is actually not so bad. The film still brought in $8 million in its second weekend, raising its total to $28.1 million, and it will soon double its $15 million budget. Consider this the rare December Christmas-themed film that actually succeeds. I expect this one to probably not last too much longer, but it has already proven its point.

Outside the top five: In limited release, it was all smiles for The Big Short. Based on the credit and housing bubble that popped, and featuring an all-star cast, the film opened in eight theaters and brought in $720,000 (15th place) that amounted to the second-best per-theater-average of the year at $90,000-per-theater. Steve Jobs still holds the honor of the best - but hopefully The Big Short doesn't follow in those shoes, as it will continue to expand nationwide in the coming weeks. I think it has a better shot, based on the cast alone and the more relevant story.

Also continuing to impress is Carol . Following a number of recent nominations, the period love story between Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara added 12 theaters (to 18 total) and jumped from 25th to 18th place with $336,924 and a new $1.2 million total. Much like Spotlight and Brooklyn (which also continue to do well), this should expand in coming weeks to a bigger audience.

So next week Sisters and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip look to vie for the top spot at the box office - or would, if we lived in an alternate dimension where Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn't exist. I expect it to break all kinds of records and I personally cannot wait to see it.


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