For the fourth weekend in a row, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 and remained at the top of the box office chart, making it the only movie in the franchise to stay at number one that long since the original Hunger Games movie in 2012. Of course, in this case that honor was only bestowed because the newcomer tanked.
In The Heart of the Sea was full of big beautiful ocean special effects and had to carry Chris Hemsworth's Thor sized salary demands, but still managed to come in on a reported production budget of $100 million. Relatively modest as that was, the movie sank in theaters, earning just $11 million domestically for a weak second place debyt. Add in just $39 million abroad for a $50 million total and you have a holiday non-starter that is a much weaker than expected finisher for Warner Brothers who have had a less than stellar year.
While Howard has had some major blockbusters, some of his movies are no strangers to walking the thin red line between profits and loss. 2008's Frost Nixonearned just $27 million internationally against a reported $25 million budget, and his 2011 comedy The Dilemma only grossed $69 million against its $70 million production cost. But In The Heart of the Sea's weak start may push the movie into strong red territory, leaving it alongside Howard's other financial flops like EDTv andThe Missing.
In small release, just 8 venues, Christian Bale and Brad Pitt's newest based-on-a-true-story social commentary drama The Big Short banked $90,000 per location for a whopping $270,000 opening. It doesn't open wide until the last week of the year, but if this strong start is any indication it may become a contender against Will Smith's newest based-on-a-true-story social commentary drama Concussion and Robert DeNiro and Jennifer Lawresnce's newest based-on-a-true-story social commentary dramedy Joy, both of which also roll out at Christmas.
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: