David Spitz, Lionsgate's executive vice president and general sales manager of theatrical domestic distribution, cautioned against focusing solely on the domestic gross for "Mockingjay – Part 2." He noted the aggressive, simultaneous rollout of the finale in 86 countries. Even though some of those markets were affected by the fallout of terrorist attacks in Paris, Spitz said the film is performing on par compared to the previous films.
"We're having a great weekend," Spitz said. "It's nice to be able say we are one of only 34 films to have ever had an opening weekend over $100 million."
He said the franchise as a whole is projected to break the $2-billion mark at the global box office.
About 70% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a positive rating. Audiences approved more overwhelmingly, giving the film an A-minus grade, according to polling firm CinemaScore. Crowds skewed female (56%) and under 25 (50%).
The movie, which cost an estimated $160 million to make, still is the fifth-highest opening film of the year so far, behind Universal's "Jurassic World" ($208.8 million), Disney's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" ($191.3 million), Universal's "Furious 7" ($147.2 million) and Universal's "Minions" ($115.7 million).
Sony's new buddy Christmas comedy "The Night Before" with Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie was no match for Katniss — or James Bond or Charlie Brown. While the Bond film "Spectre" finished in second place and added $14.6 million, and "The Peanuts Movie" finished third and pulled in $12.8 million, the R-rated "The Night Before" opened with $10.1 million in ticket sales, good for fourth.