The Hunger Games returned to theaters this past weekend with The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and took the top spot on the charts, but it was a far cry from the franchise’s heyday.
Songbird & Snakes took in $44 million over the weekend, which is slightly under what The Marvels made when it opened last weekend. That opening is by far the lowest opening in The Hunger Games franchise, with the previous low being Mockingjay Part 2, which opened to $102 million back in 2015. The saving grace for Songbirds & Snakes compared to The Marvels is that Songbirds & Snakes cost much less with an estimated budget of around $100 million, not counting prints and advertising. The Marvels cost around $275 million. Worldwide Songbirds & Snakes took in $98.5 million and we’ll have to see how it holds over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Trolls Band Together took second place with a $30 million opening. That’s down from the original Trolls, which made $46 million in 2016. The second movie, Trolls World Tour was barely released in any theaters domestically due to the COVID pandemic and made $48 million worldwide. Trolls Band Together has $107.9 million worldwide so far and it will need to top $343 million to pass the original Trolls’ worldwide total.
Thanksgiving took third place with $10.3 million. That’s slightly below the original Grindhouse, in which Thanksgiving was a fake trailer, and Machete, both of which made just over $11 million for opening weekends. It is way up from Machete Kills, which only made $3.8 million for an opening weekend back in 2013. For Eli Roth, it’s his fifth-best opening movie of all time, between Grindhouse and Cabin Fever.
The Marvels took a nosedive in its second weekend, dropping 78% from last week’s already weak opening with another $10.1 million. The movie has $64.9 million domestically for two weeks out and $161.2 million worldwide. It’s currently tracking right between The Flash and Blue Beetle but it cost $75 million more than The Flash and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania for a budget, so this will be another box office disaster for Disney this year as they fall victim yet again to massively bloated budgets.
Five Nights at Freddy’s rounded out the top 5 with another $3.5 million, dropping 60% from last weekend and bringing its domestic total to $132.6 million and its worldwide total to $284.3 million.
The weekend’s other new release, Next Goal Wins, bombed out in 8th place with $2.5 million. It’s hard to compare Taika Waititi movies as they are either massive movies like the Thor sequels or open in extremely limited release. Next Goal Wins was in 2,240 theaters and had the lowest Per Theater average of any movie in the top 10.
Speaking of the Per Theater average, the best average of the weekend was Saltburn, which made $46,093 in each of the 7 theaters it played in over the weekend.