'Mockingjay -- Part 1' looks to top weekend after Thanksgiving weekend

'Mockingjay -- Part 1' looks to top weekend after Thanksgiving weekend
Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) visits District 8 residents in a scene from "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1." (Lionsgate)

Moviegoers may be too stuffed from Thanksgiving box office leftovers to flock to the theaters this weekend.

The weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is known for being one of the slowest in the film industry. And with no new wide releases, audiences will likely opt out of seeing movies in theaters.


Those who do trek to theaters will likely dish out the most dollars for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1," according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys.

The Lionsgate franchise film is poised to top the box office for a third weekend, adding between $20 million to $25 million to its domestic gross.

The third "Hunger Games" installment opened to $123 million, surpassing the $100-million debut of "Transformers: Age of Extinction" to become this year's biggest opening. Its estimated domestic box office total is about $233.8 million to date.

It broke the $500-million mark at the worldwide box office on Wednesday evening, bringing its total global haul to $504.8 million in its first 13 days of release.

Unsurprisingly, the young adult franchise has drawn audiences largely younger than 25. Based on the bestselling novels by Suzanne Collins, the “Hunger Games” movies have been huge hits for Santa Monica-based Lionsgate.

Second place will be a battle between 20 Century Fox's animated film "Penguins of Madagascar," the spinoff of DreamWorks Animation's "Madagascar" franchise, and Disney's "Big Hero 6."

Tracking suggests "Penguins of Madagascar" could pull in up to $13 million in its second weekend.

The PG-rated film follows the penguins Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private as they work with an undercover organization called the North Wind to stop Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world. Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich voice some of the animated characters. 

It earned an A-minus rating from audience polling firm CinemaScore and a decent 69% "fresh" rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

"Big Hero 6" could add $10 million in its seventh weekend.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros.-distributed "Horrible Bosses 2" -- which fell short of studio and tracking expectations in its debut last weekend - will likely add $7 million.

The Sean Anders-directed film, which cost about $43 million to make, brings back comedic trio Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day). The raunchy R-rated comedy also stars Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Fox and Chris Pine.

The film may tie with Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar," which has held steady since its Nov. 5 release.

In more limited release, Twentieth Century Fox is releasing horror film "The Pyramid" in roughly 589 theaters. It is expected to make about $2 million.

Fox Searchlight will expand its drama "Wild." The film, which opened in Los Angeles and New York on Wednesday, is based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, played by Reese Witherspoon. It follows Strayed as she hikes more than 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Sony's "Still Alice," starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart, will open in theaters in New York and Los Angeles for one week before its wide release on Jan. 16, 2015.

Open Road announced it will also re-release its thriller "Nightcrawler." The film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, has taken in about $30 million to date.

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