In a surprising turn of events, Lionsgate’s latest addition to the Hunger Games franchise, “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” has fallen short of expectations at the domestic box office. The film made its debut over the weekend, grossing an estimated $44 million in its first three days of release. While $44 million is certainly not a paltry sum, it’s significantly below the initial projections that ranged from $50 million to $60 million.
This underperformance marks a new low for the blockbuster franchise, which previously comprised four movies released between 2012 and 2015, collectively generating nearly $3 billion in global box office revenue. However, “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” couldn’t quite reach the same heights, leaving many in the industry scratching their heads.
One factor that may have contributed to this disappointing debut is the film’s length, as well as the mixed reviews it has received. Directed by Francis Lawrence, who also helmed three of the previous Hunger Games films, this installment delves into the backstory of Coriolanus Snow, portrayed by Tom Blyth. Snow, who would go on to become the primary antagonist of the series, is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler, a tribute from the impoverished District 12 competing in the 10th Hunger Games.
Despite its intriguing premise, “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” has received a lukewarm response from critics, earning a 61% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it the worst-reviewed installment in the Hunger Games franchise. Additionally, the film could only muster a B+ CinemaScore from opening day audiences, indicating that it may not have resonated as strongly with viewers as its predecessors.
In contrast to this underperforming Hunger Games prequel, Universal’s animated sequel, “Trolls Band Together,” claimed the second spot at the box office with a solid opening weekend estimated at $30.6 million. This marked a significant success for the franchise, especially considering the challenges faced by its previous installment, “Trolls World Tour,” which was released on PVOD platforms during the early days of the pandemic.
Further down the rankings, director Eli Roth’s slasher film, “Thanksgiving,” made a respectable debut with an estimated $10 million opening weekend, securing the third spot. Notably, it narrowly edged out last week’s number one film, Disney’s “The Marvels.” However, the superhero sequel saw a staggering 80% drop in its second weekend, making it one of the worst falls in the history of superhero films and the worst ever for a Marvel Cinematic Universe film. With a running domestic total just over $60 million, it seems unlikely that “The Marvels” will reach the coveted $100 million mark in its theatrical run.
Adding to the woes of superhero films, Taika Waititi’s sports comedy “Next Goal Wins” faced a lackluster opening weekend, grossing under $3 million. This film has faced its fair share of challenges, including delays and a major casting change with Will Arnett stepping in for Armie Hammer during post-production. Waititi’s star has also seen a decline since his Oscar win for “Jojo Rabbit.”
In conclusion, “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” may have fallen short of expectations at the box office due to its length and mixed reviews. While the Hunger Games franchise has a dedicated fan base, it appears that this prequel didn’t quite capture the same level of excitement as its predecessors. Meanwhile, other films like “Trolls Band Together” and “Thanksgiving” have found success in the current movie landscape, while “The Marvels” has faced a surprising and dramatic decline in its second weekend.
As the film industry continues to navigate changing audience preferences and challenges, it will be interesting to see how these box office trends evolve in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates on the world of cinema.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Box Office Disappointment
Why did “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” underperform at the box office?
“The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” underperformed at the box office due to a combination of factors. First, the film had lower-than-expected initial projections, which set the bar high. Second, it received mixed reviews from critics, with a 61% score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the worst-reviewed installment in the Hunger Games franchise. Additionally, the film’s length may have deterred some viewers, and it only received a B+ CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
What is the premise of “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes”?
“The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” explores the backstory of Coriolanus Snow, who becomes the primary antagonist of the Hunger Games series. In the film, he is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from District 12, in the 10th Hunger Games. The story delves into their relationship and Snow’s journey, set decades before the events of the original Hunger Games films.
How did other films perform at the box office during the same weekend?
During the same weekend, Universal’s animated sequel, “Trolls Band Together,” performed well with a $30.6 million opening weekend. “Thanksgiving,” a slasher film, also made a respectable debut with $10 million. However, Disney’s “The Marvels” experienced an 80% drop in its second weekend, marking one of the worst declines for a superhero film.
What challenges did “The Marvels” face at the box office?
“The Marvels” faced a significant challenge at the box office, as it experienced an 80% drop in its second weekend, one of the worst declines in superhero film history. This decline was unexpected and posed a substantial obstacle to the film’s overall box office performance.
More about Box Office Disappointment
- Rotten Tomatoes – “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” Reviews
- CinemaScore – “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes”
- Box Office Mojo – Weekend Box Office Results
- Variety – “Trolls Band Together” Box Office Success
- Deadline – “Thanksgiving” Opening Weekend
- Collider – “The Marvels” Box Office Decline
- IMDb – “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” Movie Details