“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” isn't quite keeping the first two films in the series at the box office, but is nonetheless on its way to a massive opening weekend.
Powered by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, “Mockingjay” soared to $55 million on Friday, making it the biggest Friday opening of the year. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” earned $41.9 million on its first Friday. “Mockingjay” will likely earn around $130 million for the weekend, again topping “Age of Extinction's” $100 million weekend debut.
However, “Mockingjay” is doing much slower business that last year's “Catching Fire,” which opened to a staggering $158.1 million last year, as well as the first “Hunger Games,” which bowed to $152 million in 2012. The first film went on to gross a huge $408 million domestically, while “Catching Fire” topped it with $424 million.
The threequel — the first part of the two-part finale — will have to make up some ground next week in order to surpass the first two films domestically.
“Mockingjay” also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, and Donald Sutherland.
Meanwhile, Disney's “Big Hero 6” earned another $4.4 million for second place, bringing its domestic total to a big, heroic $120.1 million
“Dumb and Dumber To,” reuniting Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey, laughed its way to third place with another $4.3 million. Its domestic haul currently stands at $47.9 million. Will it top the $127.1 million grossed by the original film, twenty years ago?
Christopher Nolan's space epic “Interstellar” picked up $4.2 million, adding to its current total of $109.8 million. It may end up passing “Dumber” by Sunday for a third place finish.
“Interstellar,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain, could end up being Nolan's lowest-grossing film since “The Prestige” in 2006, after scoring such box office bonanzas as “Inception,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”
“Gone Girl,” David Fincher's film with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, is spending its last weekend in the top five after seven weeks of release. It made off with $800,000 on Friday, bringing its domestic total to a handsome $154.8 million.
Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.