There are about 30 major releases scheduled for December, not a one of them that were queued for the month’s first weekend. That’s not true: There was “The Pyramid,” a horror thing Sony kept close to the chest, hiding it from critics and then releasing it in only 589 theaters. (Most new releases open in somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000.) Sony was rewarded with a bounty of $1.3 million and the ninth spot on the charts.
The lack of newbies would seem to work in favor of other new releases, but no one seemed much interested in them either. The top spot went, again, inevitably, to the third “Hunger Games” romp, “Mockingjay — Part 1.” But Katniss and company only netted $21.6 million in is third weekend, down 62 percent from its second. Its North American total now stands at $257 million — right now a hair behind “The Lego Movie” — which is mostly impressive given it’s the one with almost no action.
Even the big Thanksgiving releases are turning only modest profits. Second place went to “Penguins of Madagascar,” which wrangled only $11.1 million to add to its $49.5 million cume. To put that in perspective, the last in the franchise, 2012’s “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” made $60.3 million in its opening weekend.\
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Also lagging behind its predecessor, “Horrible Bosses 2” has made $36 million in two weeks ¬— nearly half that of the 2011 original, which went on to crack the $100 million mark.
In fact, the overall top 20 only amounted to $75 million, the year’s second worst tally, after the dreaded first weekend of September, when the only new wide release was the Christian-themed not-quite-Elvis monstrosity “The Imitation” and everyone was sad. There’s still “Exodus,” a “Hobbit” entry, “Annie” plus a slew of Christmas Day releases to come, but this weekend’s bloodbath has been a reminder that maybe Hollywood should make some movies sometime.
Top 10 earners:
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’ $8.1 million
5 ‘Interstellar’ $8 million
6 'Dumb and Dumber To' $4 million
7 'The Theory of Everything' $2.6 million
8 'Gone Girl' $1.5 million
9 'The Pyramid' $1.3 million
10 'Birdman' $1.1 million