This time next week the box office will be in uncharted territory, as the opening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Friday plans to be historic. That anticipation may have led to a dip in movie ticket sales this weekend.
The top 20 releases at the multiplex had a 25% drop in tickets sold this weekend compared to last, according to Deadline. This is similar to the soft weekend before the release of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” over the summer.
Continuing its box office dominance was “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” which took the top spot with an estimated $11.3 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This is the first time since the original “Hunger Games” that a film in the franchise has spent four straight weeks atop the box office.
It just edged past new release “In The Heart of the Sea.” Ron Howard’s Moby Dick tale starring Chris Hemsworth took in an estimated $11 million (an awful start for a movie budgeted at around $100 million).
The big winner of the weekend was the star-studded ensemble dramedy “The Big Short,” which looked at the housing market crash that spurred a US recession in 2008. The perfectly crafted tone by director Adam McKay — and the talented cast that includes the likes of Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, and Brad Pitt — led this movie to earn the second-best opening theatre average of the year.
Its average of $80,000 per the eight screens it was on has only been bested by “Steve Jobs,” which did $130,000 in four theatres.
Good reviews certainly helped but having its limited release the weekend after the Golden Globes nominations were announced probably wasn’t a bad idea, either. Carell, Bale, and McKay (for screenwriting) all received nominations. The movie opens in wide release December 23.
Yes, that’s after “The Force Awakens” comes out.
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