Sunday, April 21, 2024

UPDATE: New Hunger Games Film 33% Off on Opening Night from Last Year, Soundtrack Not Selling


UPDATE FRIDAY MORNING NOV 21st: Overnight “Mockingjay Part 1” earned $17 million– 33% off of last year’s Thursday night opening for “Catching Fire.”  Not a good sign. And the teens around me are not clamoring to go tonight, as they did last year.

EARLIER: Are people — I mean, teens– tired of “The Hunger Games”? The new soundtrack to “Mockingjay Part 1” is curated by hot teen singer Lorde. Yet it’s listed atnumber 92 on On iTunes, “Mockingjay” is at number 14, even with the Lorde imprimatur. is predicting sales of only 20-25,000 for its debut week. The last “Hunger Games” CD sold 55,000 copies– and that was just a year ago– in its first week.

FYI: The first “Hunger Games” CD sold 180,000 copies in its first week back in March 2012, and entered the charts at number 1.

Meantime, the movie itself is not catching fire with reviewers. On Fandango, “Mockingjay Part 1” rates an average of a 67 among reviewers. This may be a better indication than Rotten Tomatoes, where often negative reviews don’t correlate with “Fresh” or “Rotten” status. The consensus so far is that “Mockingjay” is well made but dull. It’s the first part of a book that most fans of the series agree doesn’t kick in until the end.

Of course no one doubts “Mockingjay Part 1” will have a big first weekend. But after that, it may not be so easy. Meantime, it’s interesting that Lions Gate had a premiere only in L.A., and just a stealth screening in New York at the very down-market AMC theater in Times Square. A good movie gets trumpeted with a Ziegfeld red carpet or something up at AMC Lincoln Square.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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