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“Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” Tops $100M In Weekend Debut

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is showing signs of box office fatigue for the franchise, but still elbowed its way to the No. 5 spot for the year for an opening weekend with a take of $101 million at domestic theaters and $247 million worldwide.

The franchise that helped launched (or catapult) Jennifer Lawrence‘s career also notched a place in the hearts of Hollywood executives for teenage heroines in sci-fi land, which seem to be in every third trailer these days — although most of the films are big-budget disappointments. Mockingjay Part 2, however, nudged its way into first place, outselling the James Bond epic Spectre, which brought in an additional $14.6 million for the film, bring its worldwide total to date to $677.8 million.

In the third slot for the weekend: The Peanuts Movie, which hit $12.8 million in ticket sales for the weekend domestically and an additional $1.3 million in foreign box office sales. The top 10 for the weekend domestically also included The Night Before (with sales of $10.1 million); Secret In Their Eyes ($6.6 million); Love the Coopers ($3.9 million); The Martian ($3.7 million); Spotlight ($3.6 million); Bridge of Spies ($1.9 million) and Goosebumps ($1.7 million).

While no one can scoff at an debut weekend taking in $100 million, the numbers show the franchise, which has now come to an end, lost some steam along the way. The second series in the film, Catching Fire, took in $158 million in its debut weekend, while the Mockingjay Part 1 raked in $121.9 million in its first weekend.

The 4,175 theaters that ran the film averaged sales of $24,198, noted Rotten Tomatoes, calling that figure “muscular.” But in its rating review, the Web site found 70 percent of reviews were positive, which is a solid percentage, although by no means the best of the weekend. Sylvester Stallone boxing film Creed, with a limited opening, was given a 93 percent positive rating, while the documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue earned a 90 percent rating and British release The Danish Girl earned 81 percent.

The final Hunger Games film – unless there are spinoffs of some kind – allow for time to consider the impact of the franchise on Hollywood. Foremost among its influence could be the sudden arrival of Jennifer Lawrence as a bonafide star who became the second-youngest woman to win an Academy Award with her role in The Silver Lining Playbook (also 2012). It is her terrific fit as the tomboy Katniess Everdeen, however, that cemented her fame for U.S. audiences, although she quickly eclipsed that performance with The Silver Lining Playbook and her audacious role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld in American Hustle (2013).

Looking back, it should be clear that Lawrence’s role as Ms. Everdeen served mostly to keep her in the spotlight earlier in her career, however, it also served to further establish her credentials as a action-film heroine, as well as a talented actress for other offerings.

Secondly, it can’t be denied that Hollywood is suddenly in love with the idea of a young women in the lead for sci-fi films, who are both the skilled fighters and the ethical compass for the film. In this category, there are too many to count, frankly and, since these are, generally, the films I ignore, rather than pursue, I haven’t a list to present. Still, trailer after trailer shows striking similarities to the Hunger Games: A teenage heroine in a sci-fi about a menacing government of a dystopia. Cross reference those in an Internet search and you might get the idea.

Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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