New Hunger Games Prequel Movie Misses $100M Global Opening Weekend

New Hunger Games Prequel Movie Misses $100M Global Opening Weekend

Lionsgate’s latest installment in the Hunger Games franchise, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” narrowly missed the $100M mark worldwide in its opening weekend. Although it fell just short, the film still managed to rake in an impressive estimated $98.5M through Sunday. The Francis Lawrence-directed prequel exceeded expectations overseas, generating $54.5M from 87 international box office markets. However, domestic performance was slightly weaker than anticipated, as it brought in $44M instead of the expected $50M+.

The UK and Germany proved to be the prequel’s strongest international markets, both debuting at number one with $6.7M and $4.8M, respectively. China followed closely with a third-place opening of $4.5M, while France and Mexico also secured the top spots with $4.1M and $3.7M, respectively. Notably, Latin America showcased overperformance, indicating a strong reception in these regions. It is worth mentioning that in China, although there is no official Maoyan audience score yet, Douban critics have rated the film 7.1, which is on par with the first Hunger Games film and not the lowest in the franchise. However, Maoyan’s current prediction of a final gross of $7.1M would mark the lowest earnings for any Hunger Games title released in the country. This outcome was somewhat expected, considering the changing tastes of the Chinese audience and the recent shift towards inward-looking local productions.

In IMAX theaters, “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” generated $7.3M globally, with $3.2M coming from 74 overseas markets. Of this total, China contributed $700K, representing 15% of the nationwide earnings for the prequel. With a production cost exceeding $100M, Lionsgate financed 65% of the film through foreign sales, while an additional $20M was covered by German tax credits.

Disney/Marvel’s “The Marvels” experienced a steep decline of 67% in its second weekend overseas, marking the biggest sophomore frame drop for a Disney MCU film. The movie added $19.5M in 52 material markets, bringing its international total close to $100M at $96.3M. Globally, “The Marvels” has accumulated $161.3M. Despite the drop, the film managed to achieve significant rankings, securing the number one or number two spot in countries such as France, Germany, Spain, the UK, Australia, Korea, Brazil, and Mexico. Currently, the top five performing markets for “The Marvels” are China ($14.7M), the UK ($7.2M), Indonesia ($5.2M), Korea ($4.8M), and France ($4.8M).

Universal/Blumhouse’s “Five Nights at Freddy’s” has surpassed “The Nun 2” to become the highest-grossing horror film of 2023, with global earnings amounting to $271.8M. The movie added an additional $9.9M from 78 overseas markets, experiencing a 52% drop from the previous weekend. Its offshore total now stands at $139.2M, performing similarly to “The Nun 2” and “The Conjuring 2,” and surpassing “Annabelle Comes Home” and “Insidious: The Red Door” at the same point in those markets. Moreover, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” has become the second highest-grossing Blumhouse title internationally, surpassing the lifetime earnings of “Glass” and taking the second spot behind “Split.” Notably, the film’s release in Korea achieved the best Hollywood horror opening of the year, debuting at number one and delivering the largest opening for a Blumhouse film during the pandemic.

While “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” narrowly missed the $100M milestone during its global opening weekend, the film still achieved commendable performance both domestically and internationally. Lionsgate can take solace in the prequel’s strong international reception and the overperformance in Latin America, showcasing the continued popularity of the Hunger Games franchise. Additionally, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” has demonstrated its staying power as the highest-grossing horror film of the year, surpassing renowned titles such as “The Nun 2” and solidifying its position as one of Blumhouse’s standout international releases.


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