Box Office Update: Hunger Games Prequel seeing under $50 million debut

The long in the tooth title The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is looking at an opening just shy of the half century mark.

Hunger Games, Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, The Academy promo

This weekend saw the not quite highly anticipated return to The Hunger Games franchise with The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes which looks to be eyeing an opening slightly under the $50 million we predicted on Thursday. Whereas that type of number spelled disaster last week for The Marvels, the filmmakers behind Hunger Games kept costs (relatively) down by keeping the budget for this prequel around $100 million. So with good word of mouth and solid international numbers, this one should be able to eek out a profit when all is said and done. The film currently holds a 90% audience score, which is the highest of the franchise, although new films tend to have outlier ratings, while its cinemascore, which is a poll taken by audience members as they leave the theater, is at a B+, the lowest of the franchise. All eyes will be on the Saturday walk up business to see if this one can finish above the $50 million mark.

Second place belongs to Trolls Band Together which is looking at an estimated $28 million for the weekend, just shy of the $30 million we predicted but still a solid opening for a threequel. Perhaps that first new song by N’Sync in over 23 years helped get audiences pumped for this Anna Kendrick/ Justin Timberlake voiced film.

Now comes the unfortunate news (for some) as The Marvels is looking to have the worst second week decline in the history of the MCU at a steep 73% (as of this writing) putting it above the pandemic stricken Black Widow’s 67.8%. That number of course comes after the film had the worst opening ever for a Marvel film. Plain and simple, this is disastrous for the once invincible brand. On Thursday I pointed out that people seem to genuinely not like this movie and some commenters were quick to point out how wrong I was in that statement, well it would seem the proof is in the numbers. 

I have loved the Marvel Cinematic Universe since I first saw Iron Man and had to ask people what an “Avenger Initiative” was after the movie ended as I am not a comic book reader. I have stuck with the brand ever since, and will continue to stick with it for as long as it is around because I have not out right hated any MCU film. Even The Marvels wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t good either! Marvel may need to bring back Jon Favreau to help get the ship back on course. I have a feeling Deadpool 3 will restore some faith in the Universe, but it will be how they handle big names like Fantastic Four and X-Men to see if there is a genuine future for the MCU or if it goes the way of the DCEU.

A mobile, desktop, and VR game called Survive Thanksgiving lets players enter the world of Eli Roth's slasher Thanksgiving

Fourth place goes to the holiday gore-fest Thanksgiving with what is looking like a weekend in the $10 million range. While that number seems quite low, especially when slasher films like Scream VI opened with $44.4 million back in March, the film has a modest budget of just $15 million, so it should be able to leg out to a decent total when all is said and done. I saw the film last night in a nearly sold out theater and found it to be an entertaining movie that had a real throwback vibe to the slasher films of the mid 90’s, giving off a real I Know What You Did Last Summer vibe. Of course with Eli Roth at the helm you got some gruesome kills and a some genuine laughs. The opening Black Friday scene is worth the price of admission alone as it is kind of a perfect take down of modern consumerism. You can check out Tyler Nichols 8/10 review here.

Fifth place will go to the murderous animatronics of Five Nights at Freddy’s with what is looking like another $3 million added to its impressive $132.2 million domestic total. On just a $20 million budget, I am surprised Blumhouse hasn’t announced a sequel yet. While the new Taika Waititi directed film Next Goal Wins looks to not have connected with audiences with an opening just slightly above the $2 million mark. The film also received a B+ cinemascore, but at this point the Searchlight film is using this theatrical release as an advertisement for when it eventually hits streaming. You can check out Chris Bumbray’s 7/10 review here.

Did you make it to theaters yet this weekend or is it still on your list of things to do? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we have the full rundown on this weekend’s box office numbers.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

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Brad grew up loving movies and wanting to work in the industry. Graduated from Full Sail University in 2007 before moving to Los Angeles where I was fortunate enough to join SAG-Aftra in 2012. I love every second I get to write about movies for Joblo!