The Hunger Games Mocking Jay Part 1 sets debut record with 123 million; Splitting up Mocking Jay tops Hunger Games controversies; Disney XD to air holiday schedule



The Games end here and now! I’m Realistic Fish Head. The heroic Katniss strikes again as The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1 tops a box office debut record of 123 million, the biggest open since Catching Fire with 158 million! With the trilogy through the halfway point, she will do what it takes to outwit her opponents to officially win The Hunger Games. Will Katniss have what it takes to scorch the box office this week Gene?




Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 registered the largest opening weekend of 2014 with an estimated $123.0 million this weekend. However, the third installment of the blockbuster franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence debuted a significant 22 percent below the $158.07 million start of last year’s Catching Fire and 19 percent below the $152.54 million start of 2012’s The Hunger Games. While Mockingjay – Part 1 had been largely expected to open below Catching Fire due in part to not having an IMAX boost this time around, the degree of the drop-off from Catching Fire was certainly unexpected.

With that said, it should be noted that in addition to easily generating the largest opening weekend of 2014 (the previous high being the $100.04 million start of Transformers: Age of Extinction), Mockingjay – Part 1 also claimed the sixth largest opening weekend ever for the month of November and the 15th largest opening weekend of all-time (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). Those are still impressive accomplishments, especially without the aid of either 3D or IMAX sales.

Mockingjay – Part 1 opened with $55.15 million on Friday, which included $17.0 million from Thursday night shows. The film declined 26 percent on Saturday to gross $40.75 million and is estimated to fall 33.5 percent on Sunday to gross $27.1 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.23 to 1, which is on par with the 2.23 to 1 ratio of Catching Fire. The ratio suggests that Mockingjay – Part 1 will likely display similar holding power to that of Catching Fire, though Mockingjay – Part 1 could potentially hold up slightly better due in part from having opened significantly lower and in part from not having to face competition from Frozen. Mockingjay – Part 1 received an A- rating on CinemaScore.

Disney’s Big Hero 6 took in an estimated $20.09 million to remain in second place. The 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios was down 42 percent from last weekend. Even though Mockingjay – Part 1 didn’t pack the same punch as Catching Fire did last year, it still had a clear effect on holdovers, as percentage declines from last weekend were significant in general.  Big Hero 6 has grossed $135.71 million through 17 days of release. That places the film 11.5 percent ahead of the $121.75 million 17-day take of 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph (which fell 44 percent in its third weekend to gross $18.58 million). While it will face new direct competition from Fox’s Penguins of Madagascar beginning on Wednesday, Big Hero 6 is likely to hold up nicely over Thanksgiving weekend thanks in part to strong word of mouth and in part based on historical trends for family fare over the Thanksgiving frame.

It was a fairly close race for third place this weekend between Paramount’s Interstellar and Universal’s Dumb and Dumber To. With an estimated $15.1 million, Interstellar topped Dumb and Dumber To by an estimated $1.3 million for the frame. Interstellar was down a significant 47 percent from last weekend, as despite continued IMAX shows, the Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film still took a hit from Mockingjay – Part 1. Interstellar continues to perform below expectations with $120.69 million after 17 days of wide release. The film is also falling further and further behind the pace of Gravity, as it is now running 29 percent behind the $169.56 million 17-day take of Gravity (which fell just 31 percent in its third weekend to gross $30.03 million). While Interstellar could experience stronger than usual stabilization over the next two weeks, the film will be facing very direct competition from both Fox’s Exodus: Gods and Kings and Warner’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in December.

On the heels of last weekend’s stronger than expected first place debut, Dumb and Dumber To fell three spots and a massive 62 percent from last weekend to land in fourth with an estimated $13.8 million. A fan-driven opening weekend performance combined with poor critical reviews and lackluster word of mouth among moviegoers (not to mention the added presence of Mockingjay – Part 1) clearly helped lead to a hefty second weekend decline for the long-awaited comedy sequel starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Despite the second weekend decline, Dumb and Dumber To is running in line with expectations at this point with a very solid ten-day take of $57.45 million. However, the film has now fallen 7 percent behind the $61.57 million ten-day pace of last year’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (which fell just 38 percent in its second weekend to gross $20.01 million).

On the limited front, Focus’ The Theory of Everything expanded nicely with an estimated $1.50 million from 140 locations. That placed the James Marsh directed awards season hopeful in tenth place among all films and gave the film a per-location average of $10,714 for the frame. The Theory of Everything has grossed $2.79 million through 17 days of platform release and will continue its expansion over the upcoming Thanksgiving frame.

Fellow awards season hopeful Foxcatcher grossed an estimated $474,339 from 24 locations. That gave the Bennett Miller directed film starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum a per-location average of $19,764. The Sony Pictures Classics release has grossed $0.822 million after ten days.


To recap, Hunger Games Mocking Jay soars the 2nd highest open as it flies 1st, Big Hero 6 defends the 2nd spot as does Interstellar in 3rd, Dumb and Dumber To which surprised both favorites last week, drops 4th, and Fox’s Gone Girl jumps back in 5th after the dumb duo sent it below the top 5.



Ever since Lionsgate decided to turn the Hunger Games trilogy into box office hits, there have been many controversies surrounding the franchise. Thus, the studio made plenty of changes between the original Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and now Mocking Jay. We ask ourselves Jim, which of the top 5 controversies proved to be the difference?



Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- The odds have clearly been in the Hunger Games films’ favor, as the series has pulled in oodles of cash throughout its run and landed Jennifer Lawrence a spot on the A-list.

However, there have nonetheless been some bumps along the road. Here are five controversies that the franchise has dealt with in the past few years.

Rue’s casting

The casting of a black actress, Amandla Stenberg, in the role of Rue in the first film led to racially charged responses on social media. There were also complaints when black actor Jeffrey Wright was cast as Beetee, a white character.

Read more Jennifer Lawrence: I’m the Worst Part of the ‘Hunger Games’ Franchise

Jennifer Lawrence and her hair

It may now be hard to believe that anyone could have possibly questioned the casting of Lawrence as Katniss. Still, there were numerous naysayers when Lawrence was initially selected, and much of the criticism focused on her light-colored hair. Evidently, Hunger Games fans weren’t familiar with the concept of hair dye.

Peeta goes passive

Josh Hutcherson has made it clear he wishes Peeta could have had a little more to do in the first film. His character spends most of his time pretending to be a rock, a plot twist that Hutcherson referred to as “laughable” in an Entertainment Weekly interview.

Director switcheroo

Claiming that the studio wanted him to finish the second film faster than he would be able to, Gary Ross, who directed the first Hunger Games film, left the franchise in April 2012 and was replaced by Francis Lawrence.

Splitting up the final installment

After the strategy helped extend profits for the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, it was no big surprise when Lionsgate opted to turn the final Hunger Games book into two movies. However, dividing up the book may have contributed to some less-than-stellar reviews for the first Mockingjay film this weekend, along with the opening-weekend gross coming in below that for Catching Fire.


The holidays are almost here as Disney XD prepares to unveil their new holiday schedule next month. As ABC Family counts down the final days to next month Dan, what will XD viewers see this before we jump in to the holidays officially?


Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- Disney XD celebrates the Christmas season with a week of premieres, including themed episodes for most of their series, including Lab Rats, The 7D, Pac-Man, Wander Over Yonder, Randy Cunningham, Ultimate Spider-Man and a special preview episode of new series Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero. A full rundown from Disney XD follows:

Monday, December 1

Mighty Med “Do You Want to Build a Lava-Man?”
(8:00 PM – 8:30 PM ET/PT)
Oliver and Kaz travel to Skylar’s home planet, Caldera, to search for the Annihilator’s former mentor, Hapax the Elder.

Lab Rats “Merry Glitchmas”
(8:30 PM – 9:00 PM ET/PT)
When Adam, Bree and Chase discover that their new action figures are being outsold by another toy, they attempt to improve their toys by adding special features: bionic abilities.

Kirby Buckets “Art Attack”
(9:00 PM – 9:30 PM ET/PT)
After being rejected from the school art fair, Kirby meets the leader of an underground group of artists and is immediately accepted into their ranks. Meanwhile, Dawn discovers Eli was once a toddler model.

Tuesday, December 2

The 7D “Gingersnaps and Grumpy Snaps / Jollybells”
(8:00 PM – 8:30 PM ET/PT)
“Gingersnaps and Grumpy Snaps” – Grumpy saves an elf named Gingersnap from drowning who in return, vows to act as Grumpy’s servant for the rest of his life.
*Guest starring Cheri Oteri (“Saturday Night Live”) as Gingersnap.
“Jollybells” – Happy must figure out a plan to bring the holiday spirit back to the villagers of Jollywood after the Glooms drain the joy out of the town using a magical Joybuster device.

Tuesday, December 2

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures “Happy Holidays and a Merry Berry Day”
(8:30 PM – 9:00 PM ET/PT)
As the holidays approach, Pac gets a surprise visit from his parents who are on a “top-secret mission” that compels him to hide them from even his closest friends, who become increasingly suspicious something is very wrong – and they may be very right.

Wednesday, December 3

Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja “Happy Hanukkah, Howard Weinerman / Snow-Klahoma!”
(8:00 PM – 8:30 PM ET/PT)
“Happy Hanukkah, Howard Weinerman” – Howard must save Greg’s Game Hole by learning the true meaning of Hanukkah.
“Snow-Klahoma!” – Randy purposely leaves the Nomicon at school so Ninja-ing won’t ruin his trip with Howard to Snow-klahoma.

Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors “Nightmare on Christmas”
(8:30 PM – 9:00 PM ET/PT)
Spider-Man sees what the world would be like without him when Nightmare takes the web-slinger on a journey through his past, present, and future. Mark Hamill (“Star Wars” films) guest stars as Nightmare.

Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. “It’s a Wonderful Smash”
(9:00 PM – 9:30 PM ET/PT)
Alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Hulks must break free of a simulated paradise created by The Collector in order to save the universe.

Thursday, December 4

WANDER Wander Over Yonder “The Gift”
(8:00 PM – 8:30 PM ET/PT)
“The Gift” – In this holiday-themed episode, Wander is handing out gifts to every new friend he’s made and sneaks onto Lord Hater’s ship to give him and the Watchdogs gifts.

Friday, December 5

Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero “North Pole Down”
(7:00 PM – 7:30 PM ET/PT)
Feeling down about his first Christmas without his parents, Penn wants to avoid the holidays altogether but is zapped to the North Pole to save Christmas as Santa Claus himself. Emmy Award-winner Henry Winkler (“Happy Days,” “Children’s Hospital”) guest stars as The Snowman.


Checking the Penguins tally, 2,025 fans sign in as Team Skipper will have their flippers full as they face off against the competition in the box office this week. They’ll have to work fast if they want to get past Mocking Jay Part 1, which pulled in the 2nd biggest open since Catching Fire last year. Do your best!



It’s a week of Thanksgiving episodes as we feast on turkey and other fixings as we set the table this week. Catch your favorite balloons for this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade as they debut 6 balloons to look for from the streets of New York! So until then, this is Realistic Fish Head saying, Happy Thanksgiving and look forward to a wonderful holiday season!

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