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Box Office: ‘The Hunger Games’ Takes Top Spot Again, ‘In The Heart Of The Sea’ Sinks, And ‘The Big Short’ Cashes In

Box Office: 'The Hunger Games' Takes Top Spot Again, 'In The Heart Of The Sea' Sinks, And 'The Big Short' Cashes In

“I was frustrated a little bit with ‘Rush,’ because that was really a big-screen movie experience. This one is even more so, and with ‘Rush,’ I kept on getting people coming up to me afterwards and saying, ‘I caught it on the airplane and it was great!’ or ‘I saw it on TV. Wow, I had no idea!’ ” director Ron Howard recently told ComingSoon. “On the one hand that’s a great compliment but a little heartbreaking for a director, because I knew it was a movie people liked and I wanted more people to see it as intended on the big screen, and I feel the same way about ‘Heart of the Sea,’ so I really hope that people will go out of their way to see it on a big screen.” Unfortunately, it hasn’t played out that way.

Hitting over 3,500 screens across the country, Howard’s big whale tale sunk, with the $100 million dollar movie earning a paltry $11 million at the box office, in what was a down weekend overall at the box office. That’s not much better than the $10 million “Rush” earned in its wide release bow, though it does look like Howard will again be earning praise when the movie hits TV and other outlets. The Cinemascore was a strong B+, so those who saw the movie generally liked it. However, it seems Warner Bros. couldn’t sell their fish story, even with Chris Hemsworth, aka Thor, doing extra promo by hosting “Saturday Night Live” this weekend. And speaking of the actor, it’s his second straight time fizzling at the box office with the director. And moreover, it seems to indicate that outside of Marvel, he’s not yet a draw.

Taking the top spot for the fourth straight week was “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2.” The film has now earned over $560 million worldwide, but is well behind the pace of its predecessor. ‘Part 1’ was already over $610 million worldwide at this point, and that’s not counting the box office receipts in China. Maybe it’s time studios rethink the whole idea of splitting finales into two separate parts? Either way, this was basically Lionsgate‘s last big weekend with the movie, because you know what is coming right around the corner….

Meanwhile, Pixar is experiencing a rare phenomenon: a flop. “The Good Dinosaur” may have placed third, but the movie has underperformed. Domestically, it hasn’t even cracked $90 million, and with a global haul not expected to surpass $400 million, it will be the animation studio’s lowest grossing movie in their history. No doubt, Disney and Pixar will be spending the holidays figuring out what went wrong. Was it the marketing? The concept? It certainly can’t be the basic premise, because as audiences showed with “Jurassic World,” dinosaurs can make big bucks at the multiplex.

In limited release, “The Big Short” had a great debut. Adam McKay‘s star-studded housing crisis movie pulled in $720,000 on eight screens — that’s a per-screen average of $90,000, the second best of the year. The picture also earned an A-grade Cinemascore which suggests good word of mouth to come, and a potentially strong showing when it goes wide on December 23rd.

Elsewhere, “Spotlight” got a nice boost from the Golden Globes to crack the top ten with $2.5 million, while “Brooklyn” also edged in with $1.9 million. “Spectre” has powered its way to $820 million worldwide. It’s well off the $1.1 billion mark of “Skyfall,” but that was unprecedented, and certainly no one will be disappointed with the figures from the followup. And “The Night Before” is showing it has some staying power with its holiday flavored raunch keeping ticket buyers interested.

1. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” $11.3 million ($244.4 mil)
2. “In The Heart Of The Sea” — $11 million
3. “The Good Dinosaur” — $10.4 million ($89.9 mil)
4. “Creed” — $10.1 million ($79.3 mil)
5. “Krampus” — $8 million ($28.1 mil)
6. “Spectre” — $4 million ($190.8 mil)
7. “The Night Before” — $3.9 million ($38.2 mil)
8. “The Peanuts Movie” — $2.6 million ($124.9 mil)
9. “Spotlight” — $2.5 million ($20.3 mil)
10. “Brooklyn” — $1.9 million ($14.3 mil)

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