Home business Box Office: Mockingjay Makes $55Mil Fri Night, But Lionsgate Stock Dips on...

“Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” has made $55 million since Thursday night. Sounds like a lot of money, right? It is! It’s the biggest opening of 2014 for a feature film. And yet, it’s way off the pace of last year’s “Hunger Games” film. “Catching Fire”made $70 million  on its opening night. And the year, the first “Hunger Games” had an opening night of $67 million.

What does this mean? It’s interesting to see how this one franchise can affect a small company. Liongate stock really dipped on Friday once the news got out that “Mockingjay” was not going to exceed “Catching Fire” but actually do much less well. The stock dropped almost $3 a share before recovering slightly. But not so much. It was an overall 5.03% drop. When the totals come in tomorrow for “Mockingjay,” and they’re substantially lower than last year, the result may be a bigger Monday drop.

But what can you do? Lionsgate panicked. They had a quickie premiere in Los Angeles. In New York, it was a small stealth event. They kept the press away. For all I know “Mockingjay” is a good movie. It has a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. There is nothing worse than when a studio panics. You can smell the fear everywhere. I could not get one human being to call me back from Lionsgate last week. Their silence spoke volumes.

Now $55 million is great, everyone would like that for their own movies. We’ll see what actually happens tonight and tomorrow. The opening weekend for “Catching Fire” was $158 million. Predictions for “Mockingjay” are $125-$130 million. Too bad there isn’t another “Twilight” movie coming for Lionsgate. But they will prevail a year from now. The final “Hunger Games” is sure to score an arrow right on target.

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