The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, debuted at the top of the box office, earning US$44 million in North America and US$98.5 million globally.
Despite opening slightly behind expectations and not matching the success of the original series, the Lionsgate film managed to top the weekend box office charts. It faced competition from Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s family-friendly film Trolls Band Together, which secured second place with US$31.7 million domestically, along with Sony’s R-rated thriller Thanksgiving, which opened with $10.2 million.
Another scary movie, Universal and Blumhouse’s Five Nights at Freddy’s, is still hanging on to the top five spots, earning another US$3.5 million. This brings the total to US$132.6 million domestically and US$271.8 million worldwide.
Set in the dystopian world of Panem, the film is based on Suzanne Collins’ standalone novel, occurring six decades before Katniss Everdeen’s story. It follows a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) as he mentors District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) in the games, marking his rise to power. The film, similar to The Marvels, had limited promotional time due to the recently-resolved actors’ strike.
In contrast, The Marvels experienced a significant 79% drop in its second weekend, earning US$10.2 million, bringing its domestic total to US$65 million. This decline is the largest in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) history, surpassing Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The film, with a budget of over $220 million, is shaping up to be the first MCU movie to fall short of $100 million domestically.
The Marvels, starring Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Teyonah Parris, has underperformed, reflecting possible audience fatigue with the franchise. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, though opening lower than its predecessors, is still poised for a steady theatrical run despite its lower opening compared to earlier The Hunger Games movies.
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