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Mockingjay leads slow box office


Mockingjay leads slow box office

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 continues to dominate the domestic box office, but awards season hopefuls Wild and The Imitation Game proved their might with impressive limited release showings on this sleepy post-Thanksgiving weekend.

In its third weekend in release, Mockingjay – Part 1 earned an estimated $21.6 million. Lionsgate’s penultimate chapter in the massively successful franchise has now earned $257.7 million domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday.

And yet, even though Mockingjay – Part 1 is on track to become the second-highest grossing movie of the year by mid-week, it’s still about $78 million shy of where the previous instalment, Catching Fire, was in its third weekend just last year.

For Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker Rentrak, this deficit is only concerning for the overall box office, which is down 4.6 per cent for the year.

“We are nearing the finish line for 2014 and that is a lot of ground to make up, but luckily we have some big movies on the way,” he says of Into the Woods, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Annie, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Unbroken.

Wild, a Fox Searchlight release starring Reese Witherspoon, opened in 21 theatres Wednesday, earning an estimated $630 000 over three days for a strong $30 000 per-theatre average. The Oscar-winning actress has been getting lots of buzz for her soul-searching turn in the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best seller.

The biggest success story of the weekend is The Weinstein Company’s Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, which took in an estimated $402 000 from eight locations for a stunning $50 250 per-theatre average. Star Benedict Cumberbatch is also expected to be a major contender on the awards circuit this season.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak.

1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, $21.6 million.

2. Penguins of Madagascar, $11.1 million.

3. Horrible Bosses 2, $8.6 million.

4. Big Hero 6, $8.13 million.

5. Interstellar, $8.0 million.

6. Dumb and Dumber To, $4.17 million.

7. The Theory of Everything, $2.67 million.

8. Gone Girl, $1.5 million.

9. The Pyramid, $1.35 million.

10. Birdman, $1.15 million.