Mockingjay: Part 2 may have had the advantage of being the final film in the franchise, but that doesn’t seem to help its waning grosses at the domestic box office. The film opened with $16M from Thursday night. That’s still a very high gross, but considering how much lower it was than Catching Fire ($25M), lower than the original Hunger Games which grossed $19.7M from midnight shows alone, and even a bit lower than Mockingjay: Part 1 ($17M), which is particularly surprising given that year to year, films generally gross more and more of their total weekend grosses from Thursday night. In addition to that, the ‘finale’ status seems like it would boost that a bit as well. This sets it on course for a gross in the $100-$100M range. Now I can’t in good faith sit here and say that this is a bad debut, but considering that even if it hit $110M (unlikely at this point), that would be a 31% drop from the adjusted weekend of Catching Fire, which is a bit disappointing. It’s still going to clean up overseas and make a huge profit, but I honestly think if they had stuck to a standard trilogy i could have been much more successful. Considering how well received Catching Fire was, the opportunity of having one big finale to the series could have seen a debut in the $170M range, if not more. However, as with many Hollywood films, total profit comes before anything else, even if it means leaving a slightly bitter taste in some audiences mouths.
As far as the two other new openers, they were relatively modest. Secret in their Eyes made just $170K, but it was only playing n 1,470 theaters. It expands into 2,392 for its standard release.
The Night Before made a soft $550K from its Thursday grosses. The film never really seemed like something that would click well with most mainstream audiences, so this isn’t a massive surprise. The film has a much older audience, so they will likely show up more on Saturday and Friday evening.