[Whistles Katniss theme]
As expected Katniss and her unmerry band of rebels dominated the weekend box office as The Hunger Games franchise finally wrapped up. Though this is the softest opening yet for the franchise it's not soft enough to end Hollywood's love of splitting final chapters into two for no good narrative reason so the trend will obviously continue for now. (sigh). I personally have no real ill will for this franchise (it's okay but I bowed out after the second film -- just too dull for my personal tastes) but The Film Experience does have official stance ill will for franchise decisions that no reasonable trustworthy person could ever claim were based on anything other than milking more money from fans. "Event" showbiz is fun but the first priority really should be to the generous fan bases of serial cinema -- Hollywood owes fans good storytelling, not padding to take more of their paycheck once you've hooked them. You're not drug dealers, movie studios, you're showmen! Putting on a great show needs to be your priority. Hopefully the upcoming slate of finale splitting franchises fail in much more embarrassing / decisive ways so -- Hollywood deserves the wrist-slapping.
01 Hunger Games 4 (4,175 screens) $101 new Hunger Games & Oscar
02 Spectre (3,659 screens) $14.6 (cum. $153.7) Review
03 Peanuts Movie (3,671 screens) $12.8 (cum. $98.9)
04 The Night Before (2,960 screens) $10.1 new
05 Secret in Their Eyes (2,392 screens) $6.6 new
06 Love the Coopers (2,603 screens) $3.9 (cum. $14.8)
07 The Martian (2,086 screens) $3.7 (cum. $213) Podcast
08 Spotlight (598 screens) $3.6 (cum. 5.8) First Impression
09 The 33 (2,452 screens) $2.2 (cum. $9.9)
10 Bridge of Spies (1,532 screens) $1.9 (cum. $65.1) Review, Tom Hanks
11 Goosebumps (1,787 screens) $1.7 (cum. $76) First Impression
12 Brooklyn (113 screens) $1.1 (cum. $2.1) Review, Saoirse & Best Actress
13 Hotel Transylvania 2 (828 screens) $.7 (cum. $166.4) on director Genndy Tartakovsky
14 Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (283 screens) $.6 (cum. $3.9)
15 Suffragette (517 screens) $.5 (cum. $3.5) Carey's Performance, Review
Among the limited releases Spotlight and Brooklyn had the strongest per screen totals. Hopefully they'll stay strong in wider release since at heart they're quite accessible entertainments and it's infinitely depressing that anything non-genre that aims for adult audiences and quality these days is automatically viewed as "specialized" in its appeal. Room, a much trickier sell than either of those premise-wise is having a tougher time expanding but if the A24 Best Picture hopeful can hold out until top ten lists and awards noms give it some extra juice it should do well. It's already gathered a reasonable $2.8 million in its first month or so in release.
In extremely miniscule release Todd Haynes's latest masterpiece Carol earned a robust quarter million on just 4 screens... though in rather frustrating news it seems to be sticking to its originally aborted release date (opposite Star Wars) in terms of when it will show up in a lot of sizeable markets and won't be in some other smaller markets until Christmas day and beyond. In short: we're not sure when to schedule our proposed Carol week since it's going to take forever for many of you to see it. We feel your pain; you don't deserve the torturous wait.