November 28, 2014

THANKSGIVING BOX OFFICE: “Mockingjay” Clips Wings of “Penguins” & “Bosses”


As is traditional, the box office for all movies aimed at young people or families slumped on Thanksgiving Day.  That kept THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART I (Lionsgate) easily on top, down 24% from Wednesday to $11.1M.  That represented a better hold than the 28% Thanksgiving drop for Catching Fire, although in actual numbers last year’s Hunger Games was still comfortably ahead at $15M for the holiday. Mockingjay is on track for a $55M weekend, and $80M+ for the 5-day holiday, which will put it near $225M in the US by Sunday, about $70M (25%) below Catching Fire.

THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR (DreamWorks Animation/20th) was hit hard by the holiday, down 37% from Wednesday to $4M.  That’s worse than other recent Thanksgiving drops for family openings (27% for Frozen, 32% for Tangled, 11% for The Muppets, 23% for DreamWorks’ own flop Rise of the Guardians), and although it could certainly rebound over the rest of the weekend, at the moment it’s looking like $25M Fri-Sun and $35M for the 5-day opening, which could indicate another disappointing box office return for a studio that badly needed a win.  More bad news for the Penguins:  BIG HERO 6 (Disney), although also hit by the holiday, went down just 27% on Thursday, and its $3.1M daily take wasn’t much lower than the Penguins revenue, even though Big Hero has already been in theatres for 3 full weeks.

HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 (New Line/Warners), despite being in a less family-friendly genre, dropped 28% from its opening day to $3.1M.  There’s not much history for R-rated comedies opening over this holiday, but the number isn’t promising, and Horrible 2 seems to be headed for an uninspiring $12M 3-day weekend ($20M over 5 days).   Meanwhile, DUMB AND DUMBER TO (Red Granite/Universal) fell 20% on Thursday to $1.5M and should have a $5M/$7M holiday.

Adult-oriented titles held better.  INTERSTELLAR (Paramount/Warners) slipped just 4% on Thursday to $3M, headed for a $14M/$20M holiday.  THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (Focus/Universal) was even more impressive, rising 17% on Thursday to $725K in just 749 theatres–better than the 15% increase for last year’s Thanksgiving art-house expansion Philomena–and headed for a 3-day weekend that would give it a fair $7K per-theatre average.  After an 8% Thursday increase, BIRDMAN (Fox Searchlight) should have a $2500 3-day weekend per-theatre average at 705.

In more limited release, FOXCATCHER (Sony Classics) was less impressive, dropping 17% on Thursday at its 71 theatres, and on its way to an OK 3-day weekend average of $10K, which would be considerably below the $16K average Boyhood had at 107 theatres.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."