Three new wide releases posed no serious threat to the (still slightly deteriorating) Hunger Games franchise over the holiday weekend, with each telling their own story about the game of expectation and payoff.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2 dropped nearly 50% in its second weekend, but that still left it at the top of the heap with a three-day total of $51.6 million. Some analysts predicted it would fall to Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, which came up short of forecasts; though Box Office Mojo notes it scored the fourth–highest Thanksgiving weekend opening of all time, its three-day total of $39.19 million makes it the lowest-grossing Pixar opening since their very first film, Toy Story, twenty Thanksgivings ago.
And while Creed came in third, its $30.1 million opening was above estimates, and above expectations for the Rocky franchise; the last film in the series, Rocky Balboa, opened at less than half that in December of 2006.
But the real history-maker of the weekend was Victor Frankenstein, which grossed a miserable $3.4 million over the five-day holiday—per Box Office Mojo, the worst numbers on record for a film opening on more than 2500 screens. And its $2.35 million three-day total was less than half that of Frankenstein screenwriter Max Landis’ summer bomb American Ultra, whose failure Landis blamed on Hollywood and mainstream audiences’ resistance to “big level original ideas.” So… what happened this time?
It seems, between inarguable failure of Frankenstein and Pan, like maybe moviegoers don’t want to see every single classic story “reimagined” and franchised. Yes, I’m sure that will be the takeaway here.