There was no doubt which film would be the last one standing in the battle for the Friday box office. The only question was if "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1" could match its own franchise's previous performances.
"Mockingjay" shot its way to the top with an estimated $55 million in domestic ticket sales Friday, far and away the night's best performer. The film, the latest in the YA-dystopian franchise, played on 4,151 screens in the U.S., for an average of $13,250 per screen.
These figures put "Mockingjay" on track to be the year's biggest opener, handily beating the $41.9-million Friday haul by "Transformers: Age of Extinction" this summer and well-poised to best the fighting robots flick's $100-million weekend take. Early tracking service estimates suggest a domestic opening of $125 million to $130 million for "Mockingjay."
These numbers hide a notable decline, however, from the opening performance of the first two "Hunger Games" installments. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" opened with $158.1 million last year, and "The Hunger Games" hit $152.5 million two years ago. The Friday tally comes after a reported $17-million gross from Thursday domestic showings.
In the international market, the film has grossed $67.5 million over three days of release that's hit 85 total markets. That's better than each of the previous two installments did over the same time frame.
The PG-13 film, directed by
Other leading performers of Friday included "Big Hero 6," with $4.5-million haul, and "Dumb and Dumber To," which pulled in $4.3 million. "Interstellar" and "Gone Girl" rounded out the top five.