Katniss Everdeen rarely loses. Not in the Hunger Games. Not in massive civil wars. Not even at the box office.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 found itself on the top of the cinematic heap for the third straight week, beating down the strong newcomer Krampus and collecting an estimated $18.6 million in capitol credits. Not that repeat victories are anything new for these Hunger Games movies: Mockingjay – Part 1 was also a three-time victor. And all told, Katniss and company’s movies have held the box office’s No. 1 spot for 12 weekends—a feat that few fictional characters outside Harry Potter and James Bond can boast.
Krampus, a horror comedy about a not-so-jolly-old, um, creature, scared the stockings out of box office prognosticators, many of whom predicted the yuletide flick would thud to earth like, well, a sleigh bereft of magic reindeer. Instead the fright film soared to a $16 million weekend to finish a solid second. Better than a lump of coal, I’d say.
Two second-week movies, Creed and The Good Dinosaur, tangled for third. Early prognostications put the warm-hearted Rocky sequel ahead on points, with Creed punching its way to around $15.54 million. Pixar’s Dinosaur, meanwhile, seems sadly headed to early box-office extinction, collecting just $15.51 million in its sophomore weekend.
Spectre, the latest James Bond flick, wrapped up the Top Five in an uncharacteristically mild fashion. Its $5.4 million was well back of the pack. But hey, Spectre’s been cruising the box office waters for five weeks now, so it’s probably about time for 007 to park the speedboat back at MI-6.
The Letters was the other reasonably large release this weekend along with Krampus—but alas, it didn’t perform like it. This slow-but-sincere story of Mother Teresa’s early ministry played at nearly 900 theaters but earned just about $800,000. Not exactly a performance worth writing home about.
Will Mockingjay – Part 2 hold firm and be able to four-peat next weekend? Well, never say never when it comes to Katniss. But it’ll be a whale of a challenge.
Final figures update: 1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, $18.9 million; 2. Krampus, $16.3 million; 3. The Good Dinosaur, $15.3 million; 4. Creed, $15 million; 5. Spectre, $5.5 million.