Analysts Trim Lionsgate Estimates After 'Mockingjay — Part 1' Thanksgiving Box Office

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 Still 8 - H 2014
Courtesy of Lionsgate

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 Still 8 - H 2014

The Jennifer Lawrence sequel ruled the five-day weekend but opened lower than previous franchise films

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 won the Thanksgiving weekend box office, but Lionsgate analysts have reduced revenue estimates for the mini-studio as the Jennifer Lawrence sequel paces behind last year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Stifel entertainment analyst Benjamin Mogil trimmed his U.S. box-office expectations for Mockingjay — Part 1 to $325 million, from $382 million, and reduced his DVD/VOD estimates to $198 million, compared to $232 million. Mogil still retains his buy rating on Lionsgate stock and a $39 per-share price target.

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"While we reduce our estimates, we do not expect the company to reduce its three year 2015-2017 (fiscal) guidance, and we would anticipate the company to be active on the buyback front given any weakness in the stock," he added. David Joyce, an analyst at Evercore ISI, also revised his Lionsgate forecasts "due to the lighter-than-expected opening domestic weekend results" for Mockingjay — Part 1.

Joyce reiterated his buy rating on the mini-studio and a $41 price target. Mockingjay — Part 1 has grossed $480 million, or $226 million domestically and $254 million internationally, after 10 days in theaters. That compares with a $573 million take for Catching Fire, or $296 million domestically and $277 million internationally, after the Thanksgiving weekend in 2013.

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Francis Lawrence's Mockingjay — Part 1, based on Suzanne Collins' blockbuster trilogy, also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Lionsgate decided to split Collins' final book in the Hunger Games trilogy into two films, just as it did with the final book in the Twilight series.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 is set to be released on Nov. 20, 2015