The odds were ever in favor of “The Hunger Games” prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” which emerged victorious in a busy box office weekend despite opening slightly behind expectations.
The Lionsgate film, which brings audiences back to the dystopia of Panem for the first time in nearly a decade, collected $44 million from 3,776 North American theaters and $98 million globally in its first weekend of release. Those initial ticket sales didn’t recapture the spark of the original franchise, which propelled Jennifer Lawerence to global stardom and inspired three sequels. But they were enough to win the weekend over three fellow newcomers, Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s threequel “Trolls Band Together,” Sony’s gory thriller “Thanksgiving” and director Taika Waititi’s sports comedy “Next Goal Wins.”
With the glut of new offerings, ticket sales for Disney’s superhero sequel “The Marvels” cratered by 78% to land another ignominious record: the biggest second-weekend drop (by far) in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before this weekend, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” withstood the largest decline of the franchise with 69.9%.
To continue reading, visit Variety.