‘Hunger Games’ Prequel Opens to Franchise Low as ‘The Marvels’ Hits Record Low for Genre

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Seems that the fall cinematic line-up is having a hard time picking up with even pandemic standards. We’ve seen a number of projects flounder at the box office that would’ve been surefire wins but are barely even managing to open to 50M or falling below initial projections. The only exception was the fan-frontloaded Five Nights at Freddy’s that swiftly plummeted in its second weekend.

The same effect is hitting The Marvels which had the franchise’s lowest opening and now seemingly the lowest second weekend as well. Promotion by the cast only slowly started throughout the week, which was hopeful to give the film some room to improve a bit but it’s not seemingly working.

Predictions saw that the new releases wouldn’t have too much of an audience overlap, but it also just seems like audiences aren’t really coming back for a second weekend this fall. If The Hunger Games prequel faces a similar drop in its second weekend with a B+ score, we might be looking at a really rough fall release schedule ahead.

Expectations were that The Marvels from The Numbers’ prediction would land at $20,4M in its second weekend with a soft drop of 56% and their algorithms are pretty on point, as The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is heading towards their predicted $45M after many even claimed it could go as high as $60M. That would place it slightly lower than even The Marvels with the only caveat being it has a $100M price tag.

So, it’ll be interesting to see if that second weekend drop is going to stand out or not. Even many try to put a selective positive spin on what amounts to the worst opening in The Hunger Games franchise with this opening being about a third of the original Hunger Games that opened to 152M back in 2012. The production budget is a fair point to this not being a bad opener but still oddly how different the framing is compared to last weekend.

The Marvels opened to 2.8M on Friday, and unless it suddenly gets a pick up it’ll likely fall under $10M which could post it towards the worst second weekend after this year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Even Eternals had a stronger hold on a B CinemaScore during the pandemic, but perhaps we’re seeing more and more the Cost of Living Crisis affect audiences’ decisions on middling word-of-mouth and an eventual streaming release.

The only thing will be if this film ends up making $100M domestically, as of now the film could’ve either gone the same direction as Elemental and surprised with a stronger hold or ended up dropping like The Flash. Now, it’s even lower than that as it dropped around 72% in its second weekend. That means the film is likely not going to hit 100M domestically. So we could be looking at a lower than $200M box office run if the international box office sees a similar development.

It’s even lower than BoxOffice Pro, which had it at around 16M though for The Marvels. Promotion started this week and only gave the film a bit of energy going into the weekend, but it’s definitely hard to make up for lost time that swiftly. There’s of course the hope it would make a dent and perhaps hold it going into its second weekend but we’ll have to see how the coming weeks go for the franchise.

One thing to note as THR points out, Hunger Games and the new Trolls film both skewed heavily female and there’s a good chance that that is what took a big chunk out of the latest MCU release. It had a much stronger reception with female audiences and that would’ve been the ones to keep it going but with not one but two films released hitting that demographic, it may have been a poor placing on Disney’s part as well with decent word-of-mouth not being enough to carry it through the current prices and competition.

Source: Variety, The Numbers, The Numbers (Hunger Games), Box Office Pro, THR

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