As expected, ‘The Hungers Games: Mockingjay, Part 1’ ruled the domestic weekend box office with the biggest debut of the year, according to industry figures released by movie tracking site Box Office Mojo on Monday. The third film of ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise, ‘Mockingjay, Part 1’ opened with $121.8 million, an impressive figure but well shy of the $158 million debut of last year’s ‘Catching Fire.’
Based on the best-selling young adult dystopian novel by Suzanne Collins, ‘Mockingjay, Part 1’ is the 27th film in 2014 to gross more than $100 million. Last year, 35 films grossed more than $100 million.
Disney Animation adventure comedy ‘Big Hero 6’ stayed steady at No. 2 in its third weekend, earning $20.1 million for a total of $135.7 million since opening Nov. 7. The Christopher Nolan sci-fi epic ‘Interstellar’ remained at No. 3 in its third weekend, earning $15.3 million for a total of $120.9 million since opening Nov. 7.
After one weekend at No. 1, ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ dropped to No. 4 in its second weekend, earning $14 million for a total of $57.7 million since opening Nov. 14. Mystery thriller ‘Gone Girl,’ starring Ben Affleck and based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, rounded out the top five, earning $2.8 million in its eighth weekend for a total of $156.8 million since opening Oct. 3.
WEDNESDAY’S NATIONWIDE RELEASES
‘Horrible Bosses 2’ is the R-rated comedy sequel to 2011’s ‘Horrible Bosses.’ In the sequel, three men decide to start their own business but fall prey to a slick investor, prompting the trio to kidnap the investor’s son to regain their business. A strong cast features Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Anniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz. Only 30 percent of early reviews are positive on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film ‘may trigger a few belly laughs among big fans of the original, but all in all, it’s a waste of a strong cast that fails to justify its own existence.’ Watch the official trailer here.
‘Penguins of Madagascar’ is a Dreamworks Animation adventure comedy about four penguins that join forces with a covert organization to stop the villainous octopus Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world. A respectable 64 percent of early reviews are positive on Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film ‘is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real filmgoing fun for the whole family.’ Rated PG. Watch the official trailer here.
‘The Theory of Everything’ is a biographical romantic drama about the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane. A solid 83 percent of reviews are positive on Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film ‘rises on James Marsh’s polished direction and the strength of its two leads.’ Rated PG-13. Watch the official trailer here.
TUESDAY’S DVD/BLU-RAY RELEASES
‘The Expendables 3’ is the action thriller sequel to 2012’s ‘The Expendables 2.’ In ‘3,’ the Expendables are beefed up for a personal battle with the team’s co-founder who wants to wipe them out. A who’s who of action stars is featured in the film, including Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham with appearances by Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Only 33 percent of reviews are positive on Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film ‘offers a modicum of all-star thrills for old-school action thriller aficionados, but given all the talent assembled, it should have been a lot more fun.’ Rated PG-13. Watch the official trailer here.
‘The Giver’ is a sci-fi drama based on the young adult dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. In the film, a boy is chosen to learn the truth behind a seemingly perfect world without suffering or pain. Only 36 percent of reviews are positive on Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film is directed ‘with visual grace, but the movie doesn’t dig deep enough into the classic source material’s thought-provoking ideas.’ Rated PG-13, ‘The Giver’ features Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift. Watch the official trailer here.
‘The November Man,’ starring Pierce Brosnan, is an R-rated action thriller about an ex-CIA operative who returns to face a former pupil in a deadly game involving the CIA and the Russian president-elect. Only 34 percent of reviews are positive on Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film ‘has a few of the ingredients necessary for a better-than-average spy thriller, making it all the more disappointing that it falls back on dull genre clichés.’ Watch the official trailer here.
‘What If,’ starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, is a romantic dramedy about a man, unlucky in love, who forms a meaningful bond with a woman who lives with her longtime boyfriend, causing them to wonder what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life. A respectable 69 percent of reviews are positive on Rotten Tomatoes, which said the film ‘transcends its derivative elements with sharp dialogue and the effervescent chemistry of stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.’ Rated PG-13. Watch the official trailer here.