Box office preview: 'Mockingjay' gets more time on top | EW.com

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Box office preview: No new wide releases means more time on top for 'Mockingjay'

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Image Credit: Murray Close

There aren’t any huge wide releases this weekend, which means there probably aren’t going to be any huge changes in the box office lineup—so Hunger Games, you can get comfortable.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 started off strong with a $121.9 million opening weekend and dropped a predictable 53 percent last weekend, down to $57 million. But even with that significant drop, it didn’t suffer in terms of its top five placement: Penguins of Madagascar and Horrible Bosses 2 both opened during the Hunger Games’ second weekend, but didn’t even come close to Mockingjay’s earnings.

Although there aren’t any films opening in 1,000 or more theaters this weekend, there are a few new offerings: Horror movie Pyramid opens in about 550 theaters, Reese Witherspoon’s Wild opens in 21 locations, and Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs’ comedy Life Partners debuts in just three cinemas. None of those are expected to crack the top five—but these are:

1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 - $20 million
Mockingjay likely benefited from Thanksgiving crowds last week, but it won’t have that same advantage on this more ordinary weekend—one that also follows Black Friday, meaning people might not be as willing to shell out cash for movies after spending it on sales. It should drop about 65 percent, leaving it earning around $20 million its third weekend.

2. Penguins of Madagascar - $10.2 million
Penguins did not impress. While the previous three films in the Madagascar series all made at least $45 million their opening weekend, Penguins only made $25.4 million—enough to earn it the number two spot at the box office, but not a great opening considering its $132 million budget. Because of this, it’s a bit difficult to predict how well the film will do in its second weekend—will it follow in its predecessors’ steps and drop by just about 45 percent, or do worse? Judging by its weak opening, we’ll guess the latter.

3. Big Hero 6 - $9.4 million
A movie that didn’t disappoint Thanksgiving weekend? Big Hero 6, which only dropped 6 percent between Thanksgiving weekend and the weekend prior. Apparently, families were more interested in taking their kids to see the talked-about Disney film than Penguins, and that interest will help Big Hero stay strong at the box office. While it won’t experience as small of a decline this weekend—if only each weekend came after a holiday!—it should stay at around Penguins’ level.

4. Interstellar - $7.9 million
Interstellar was the one (not-new) film in the top five that actually improved from one weekend to the next: The Christoper Nolan movie made $15.3 million the weekend of Nov. 21 and went up 2 percent, to $15.7 million, the weekend of Nov. 28. Moviegoers evidently took the extra time off to spend a few hours in the theater watching space (and Matthew McConaughey) go by, but they don’t have as much time this weekend—so Interstellar will probably experience a typical 50 percent decline.

5. Horrible Bosses 2 - $5.4 million
This sequel didn’t fare as well as the original, which made $28.3 million its opening weekend, but it still remains one of the only comedy choices at cinemas currently. People will go see it for that reason. But word-of-mouth isn’t too strong on this one, a factor that could hurt its potential earnings and lead to a more drastic decrease in ticket sales.