Jennnifer Lawrence and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” are on course for a sizzling $125 million opening weekend, according to pre-release tracking. It opens on Friday, Nov. 20, six days before Thanksgiving.
The estimate for the opening could well rise as the debut date draws closer and the marketing campaign kicks into high gear. The first three movies have taken in $2.3 billion at the worldwide box office since Lawrence first appeared as Katniss Everdeen in the 2012 original, “The Hunger Games.”
Francis Lawrence, who has directed the last two “Hunger Games” installments, returns for the finale. Co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are back as well, as are Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore and Sam Claflin.
Predictably, young females are showing the most interest in the finale of the hugely popular film franchise, based on the best-selling young adult novel trilogy of Suzanne Collins.
A debut of $125 million for the finale, which will be the first in the series released in 3D, would make it the third-highest opening in the series behind the second film “Catching Fire” ($158 million in 2013) and the original ($152 million). It would also match the production budget of the film, which was shot in Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles.
“Mockingjay – Part 1” debuted with $122 million just before Thanksgiving last year. Its $337 million domestic haul was the lowest of the three films, but the film performed stronger overseas. The $755 million global total ranked behind only the $865 million of “Catching Fire.”