The next few weekends are filled to the brim with big-budget Christmas movies and Oscar hopefuls, as is tradition in December, and that usually means that at least one weekend in early December is dead as dead can be. That was the case this weekend. With the only two new movie opening in limited release, theaters across the country saw the second worst weekend of the year in terms of overall receipts. And the number one movie was, you guessed it, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, which lost 62 percent of its audience and added $21.6 million to its $257.7 million total. Despite its comparatively slow start, it actually did better in its third weekend than the last film in the franchise, and will likely end up in the neighborhood of $330 million when it closes.
The semi-limited opening of the weekend was The Pyramid, a horror movie that you’ve likely never heard of, which is probably why Fox dumped it in less than 600 theaters. It opened in ninth place with $1.3 million, which seems low for a horror movie, but considering that it would have been buried in the coming weeks and was likely not high budget, it seems that Fox wanted to get it in and out of theaters as quickly as possibe to fulfill any contractual obligations. The big limited opening of the weekend was the Reese Witherspoon Oscar hopeful Wild, which made $630,000 in 21 theaters for a $30,000 per-theater average. The reviews on it have been decent, so it should continue to do well as it expands in the coming weeks. But nothing is stopping The Imitation Game in its limited release dominance – it added four more theaters and made $402,000, a $50,250 per-theater average on 8 total screens.
Next weekend brings a big budget blockbuster for the masses (Exodus: Gods and Kings), another entry from one of the best filmmakers alive (Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice), and Chris Rock’s Top Five, which will certainly do well given his recent media ubiquity.