Box Office: ‘Mockingjay’ Soars to Largest Opening Day of Year, Despite Franchise Low
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” soared to the largest opening day of the year with $55 million on Friday at the U.S. box office. The third installment in the Lionsgate franchise is on its way to north of $130 million this weekend, which would be the best debut of 2014.
Despite the strong showing, the pic is far behind the first two movies, grossing over 20% less than its predecessors. Early U.S. box office projections for “Mockingjay” were as high as $150 million.
“The Hunger Games” launched to $152 million in 2012 and last year’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” debuted to $158 million. Unlike the two previous films, the penultimate installment isn’t playing in Imax because “Interstellar” is still showing on those screens.
However, the film is taking off overseas, having earned more than $67.5 million in three days at the international box office.
If the $130 million estimate holds, “Mockingjay” will have the »
- Maane Khatchatourian
‘Blind Massage’ Is Surprise Winner of Golden Horse Awards
China’s “Blind Massage” was the surprise winner at the 51st Golden Horse Awards, the Taiwan-based competition open to all Chinese-language films.
The Lou Ye-directed film won six in six of the seven categories for which it was nominated, including the best feature prize.
It beat another mainland Chinese title “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” which had been the favorite going in to the ceremony with 8 nominations, ahead of 7 for “Blind Massage,” and 6 for Taiwan’s “Kano.”
But “Black Coal” finished a miserable evening winning only for best art direction.
Broadcast of the ceremony was blocked in China because of the inclusion of “Kano,” a period film which casts a benign eye on the Japanese colonial period.
Hong Kong-based Ann Hui was named as best director for »
- Patrick Frater
‘Budapest Hotel’ Still Checked Into Awards Race
On Nov. 19, voting began for SAG nominations. On Dec. 1, art directors and producers kick off the guild voting, while the New York Film Critics Circle are first out of the gate by announcing their winners.
As we get down to the wire, Hollywood calendars are jam-packed with awards events. And at each gathering, voters trade notes about titles they’ve seen recently and the handful of films they need to see. The conversation is always dominated by the latest contenders — and yet this year, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” keeps coming up.
The Wes Anderson film premiered at Berlin almost a year ago and bowed domestically in March, which in an awards-season-timetable is the equivalent of 200 years ago. It has long been on VOD and video, so as a flock of terrific films open to fanfare and media attention, “Budapest” may seem like old news. Au contraire, mes amis.
Six months ago, »
- Tim Gray
The 20 best British science fiction films – in pictures
To coincide with the BFI’s sci-fi season and its digital re-release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, we thought this would be a good time to look at some of the British greats of the genre. Since the 1970s co-productions and foreign investment mean it’s hard to say exactly what a British film is, so for this gallery we have decided to look at films set in Britain
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- Greg Whitmore
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