Unsurprisingly, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” kicked “Transformers: Age of Extinction” to the curb and has scored the year’s biggest domestic opening weekend with $123 million in the U.S. alone, the fifteenth highest box-office opening in history.
Yet, this opening is being seen as a disappointment in quite a few circles as it’s decidedly down on the $152 million and $158 million opening weekends of the previous two movies in the saga. The film’s international haul made up some of the shortfall with a $152 million foreign gross from 85 foreign markets – besting last year’s ‘Catching Fire’ by 4%.
Not helping though are the reviews which have been on the weak side of positive and also down on previous instalments. ‘Mockingjay Pt 1’ sits at 67% (6.4/10) on Rotten Tomatoes and a 64/100 on Metacritic, a long way from the 84% (7.2/10) & 67/100 that the first film received and the even better 89% (7.5/10) & 75/100 that ‘Catching Fire’ scored.
Many of the reviews seem to suggest the same problem – that the splitting of the final film story into two unnecessarily padded films means that the movie is all just elaborate preparation for next year’s finale. Yet, even with the disappointment, it won’t stop studios from continuing this trend as analysts suggest the studio will still earn a lot more money than if they had only released one film.