“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” recorded the lowest debut ever in the franchise history.
The last part of Katniss Everdeen saga opened this weekend with an estimated $101 million ticket sales.
According to Entertainment Weekly, this was the lowest debut of any of the “Hunger Games” movies and also under the initial predictions of $120 million.
The first “Hunger Games” movie debuted in March 2012 with $152.5 million. The following year, “Catching Fire” beat its record and earned 158.1 million, while “Mockingjay – Part 1” opened last year with $121.9 million.
The $247 million “Mockingjay Part 2” also fell short of the $300 million that analysts expected the film would make worldwide, Variety noted.
Bloomberg noted that the decision to split the third book of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy into two movies extended the flow of ticket revenues, but it may have also tested the patience of the franchise core audience.
Bloomberg quoted Gitesh Pandya, an analyst at Box Office Guru, as saying: “It shows that audiences will not automatically show up for the same brand over and over again.”
Pandya added the hardcore fans of the franchise are still lining up in theaters, but the film isn’t attracting a new audience.
“Mockingjay Part 2” was also hurt by negative reviews.
Bruce Kirland of Toronto Sun wrote via Rotten Tomatoes: “The Hunger Games, which kicked off in a blaze of guts ‘n’ glory in 2012, ends now with a sad whimper, along with a lot of big bangs signifying nothing.”
The Atlantic wrote: “A movie that is too silly to be so somber, and too somber to be much fun.”
The moderate enthusiasm on “Mockingjay – Part 2”was also seen in social media, Variety noted. Mentions for the movie on Facebook and Twitter were off substantially in comparison wirh the first installment of the two-part “Mockingjay.”
Variety also noted that the final “Hunger Games” has been overshadowed by the return of another franchise -“Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
It mentioned that “Star Wars 7” snatched headline from the final “Hunger Games” film this week when it shattered pre-sales records.
Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations, told Variety: “It hurt it. There was not one story about ‘Hunger Games’ pre-sales hype. The coverage was all about ‘Star Wars.’”
The marketing of “Mockingjay – Part 2” also hit a snag in some countries, where the original poster for the film that shows Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) was changed.