Box Office Preview: 'Mockingjay' Set to Stay at No. 1 on Historically Slow Weekend
There are virtually no new wide releases hitting the multiplex as consumers recover from Thanksgiving and prepare for the December holidays
Per usual, the December box office will ring in with a whimper as Hollywood studios take a break before the Christmas crush.
With no new wide releases this weekend, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 is poised to stay at No. 1 for the third consecutive weekend with, a weekend take in the $20 million-$25 million range for a domestic total north of $250 million.
There is, however, action at the specialty box office, where Jean-Marc Vallee's Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, opens Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles. On Friday, the drama, based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir of hiking more than 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, opens in five additional cities (San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Phoenix and Washington D.C.).
And 20th Century Fox rolls out the found-footage horror pic The Pyramid in 500 theaters. Directed by Gregory Levasseur, the movie stars Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O'Hare, James Buckley and Daniel Amerman as a group of archeologists who discover a vast pyramid buried under the Egyptian desert.
After Mockingjay, DreamWorks Animation and Fox's Penguins of Madagascar should place No. 2 in its sophomore outing. New Line's Horrible Bosses 2 hopes to improve its standing, but could stay at No. 5 behind Big Hero 6 and Interstellar.
The action heats up at the box office on Dec. 12, when Ridley Scott's biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings hits theaters, followed on Dec. 17 by Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and on Dec. 19 by Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie. A slew of films then open on Christmas Day, including Into the Woods and Unbroken.
Hollywood is hoping for a bountiful holiday season after a troubled November, with revenue falling more than 9 percent over November 2013.