This Friday, only one new release debuts in the marketplace, but it’s a massive one. Yes, Katniss and company are back in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and expect a number of 2014’s records to be broken.
For starters, it needs only to top the $100 million earned by Transformers: Age of Extinction to have the largest opening weekend of the year. That should be no problem whatsoever. 2012’s original Games got off to a $152M start while last year’s sequel Catching Fire took in $158M. Additionally, Mockingjay 1 (the part two franchise finale is out next year) is almost certain to eventually gross higher than 2014’s current box office champ, Guardians of the Galaxy, which has earned $330M. Both of Mockingjay‘s predecessors have earned over $400M domestically.
Jennifer Lawrence returns at Katniss with a large ensemble cast including Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Reviews have been mostly strong, though notices for Catching Fire were more positive.
This third entry appears unlikely to gross under the original’s $152M out of the gate. However, I question whether it manages to top Catching Fire‘s $158M haul. I’ll predict this opens right in the middle of the first two while easily claiming the title of best roll out of the year.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opening weekend prediction: $155.8 million