The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes opened at number one in North America on an estimated $44m through Lionsgate while The Marvels had a weekend to forget, plummeting 77.9% in its second session in a new low for the Marvel Studios hit factory.
Meanwhile Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn and Aki Kaurismaki’s Cannes entry Fallen Leaves got off to strong award season starts in limited release.
Songbirds & Snakes played in 3,776 locations and delivered the lowest opening weekend of the franchise, behind the unadjusted $102.7m set by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 in November 2015.The global opening weekend generated $98.5m and Screen will break down international numbers on Monday.
Lionsgate will look for the film to play well through this week’s Thanksgiving holiday and into December before executives know what they have and whether there is potential for a second YA franchise.
Events take place 64 years before the Katniss Everdeen timeline which turned Jennifer Lawrence into a global star and produced four films which earned close to $1.5bn in North America and just over $3bn worldwide.
PostTrak reported a 65% female and 73% 18-34 audience on the prequel, which focuses on the formative years of Coriolanus Snow, the villain of the original franchise played by Donald Sutherland. Young Snow is played in Songbirds & Snakes by Tom Blyth and the cast includes Rachel Zegler from West Side Story, Peter Dinklage, and Jason Schwartzman.
Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson return as director and producer of the Color Force / Lionsgate production.
Meanwhile Brie Larson-led The Marvels fell heavier in its second session that any other film in Marvel Studios history. It added $10.2m from 4,040 theatres through Disney for third place and has mustered $65m and $161.3m North American and global running totals, respectively.
Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls Band Together arrived in second place on $30.6m from 3,870 sites, which trails the unadjusted $46.6m debut of Trolls in 2016. Trolls World Tour went straight to streaming in 2020 due to the pandemic.
TriStar Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s Eli Roth horror Thanksgiving opened in fourth place on $10.2m from 3,204 via Sony Pictures, while Universal’s Five Nights At Freddy’s rounded out the top five tumbling three slots on $3.5m for an excellent $132.6m tally after four weekends.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour crossed $175m following a $2.4m haul in its sixth weekend through AMC Distribution, while Alexander Payne’s acclaimed comedy drama The Holdovers held firm at number six through Focus Features, adding $2.7m from 1,478 for an $8.4m running total after four weekends.
Searchlight Pictures’ TIFF premiere Next Goal Wins directed by Taika Waititi and starring Michael Fassbender as the new football coach of the humbled American Samoan national team opened at number seven on $2.5m from 2,240 sites.
Fennell’s awards season hopeful Saltburn from Amazon MGM Studios starring Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi and Rosamund Pike opened at number 13 on $315,49 from seven. The drama about privilege and desire earned an excellent $45,070 average and will expand on November 22.
Kaurismaki’s Cannes selection and Finnish Oscar submission Fallen Leaves opened strongly via Mubi at number 20 on $50,672 from two sites.
Michel Ciment: tribute to a titan of film criticism