Looks like Katniss Everdeen is facing an even bigger threat than President Snow: viewer ennui for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2."
Friday brought an opening box office haul of $46 million for the fourth and final installment in the popular dystopian movie series starring Jennifer Lawrence as the heroine Katniss, according to movie tracking site boxofficemojo.com. With the film on 4,175 screens, the gross translated into a healthy $11,018 per-screen average.
Those numbers dwarfed every other competitor this week, of course, but "Mockingjay's" gross still fell short of expectations and landed far away from the $55.1-million opening day last year for "Mockingjay -- Part 1."
It looks like the series closer will end the weekend just creeping past the $100-million boundary at the U.S. box office. Lionsgate, the studio behind the series, reportedly spent nearly $200 million for "Mockingjay 2," including production and marketing costs.
If projections hold, "Mockingjay" will end up with the most modest performance of the "Hunger Games" series. In 2013, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" pulled in $158 million its opening weekend. The first picture, 2012's "The Hunger Games," delivered $152 million.
Traffic for two other openers on Friday was much more ordinary.
"The Night Before," a Seth Rogen comedy released by Sony/Columbia, grossed $3.6 million and took the No. 3 spot. If Saturday night delivers a large helping of the date-night crowd, the picture might cross $10 million by close of business Sunday.
Meanwhile, Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman look to have teamed for a bomb in "Secret in Their Eyes," a remake of an Argentinian thriller from STX Entertainment. The picture grossed $2.3 million on nearly 2,400 screens, landing in the No. 5 spot.
"Spectre," the new James Bond spy adventure from Sony/Columbia that opened two weeks ago, held on to the No. 2 slot, with a $4.3 million gross added to an overall cume of more than $143 million.
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