WHEN IS a $100 million opening weekend a
When it's for "Mockingjay - Part 2," the
final "Hunger Games" film.
For most films, $101 million, according to Rentrak estimates yesterday, would be a coup, but M2 collected the lowest opening take among the four films in the series.
The series, starring Jennifer Lawrence, kicked off with a bang in March 2012 with a massive $152.5 million weekend - one of the highest openings of all time.
"Catching Fire," the second film in the franchise, one-upped that with a $158.1 million debut in November 2013.
But in an old-fashioned Hollywood cash grab, Lionsgate split the final book in Suzanne Collins' trilogy into two films, following the precedent of "Twilight" and "Harry Potter."
"Mockingjay - Part 1" opened on this weekend last year to $121.9 million.
The franchise low for the final "Hunger Games" film, which cost a reported $160 million to make, was a bit of a surprise. Distributor Lionsgate, however, put on a happy face.
"It's a great accomplishment. The overall franchise has grossed over $2 billion worldwide and counting," said David Spitz, co-president of theatrical distribution for Lionsgate. "It's a pretty phenomenal result."
Only 34 movies in history have opened at over $100 million, including all four in the "Hunger Games" series.
The movie also sucked all the air out of the marketplace.
"Spectre" fell to second place this week with $14.6 million. "The Peanuts Movie" finished behind "Spectre" and ahead of the Seth Rogen holiday comedy, "The Night Before," which earned an expected $10.1 million. The R-rated film cost about $25 million to produce.
The Julia Roberts thriller "The Secret in Their Eyes," a remake of the Oscar-winning Argentinian film, debuted wide this weekend to $6.6 million from 2,392 locations - slightly under expectations.
* Speaking of the No. 1 movie, Elden Hensen, who plays Pollux in the "Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" stopped in Philadelphia recently to talk about the movie with Daily News film critic Gary Thompson.
"I just got really lucky," he said. "I got a call to do the job, I had no idea what it was when I said yes. I hadn't read the books or anything. Basically what I knew was that Jennifer Lawrence was in it, and that was enough."
He's yet another member of the JLaw fan club.
"Jen did an amazing job with the character, who is a strong female role model that people can look up to. And Jen in real life is also the kind of person a young girl can look up to. That anyone can look up to. She's really cool, and down to earth, and funny."
Lawrence was one of many cast members who kept tabs on Hensen during the movie's shoot, which began just as Hensen learned his wife was pregnant, and concluded just before his son was born.
"Everyone was so supportive," he said. "The movie will always be special to me personally because of what I shared with everyone during the shoot, and the support that I got from everyone."
Hensen wrapped June 18, his son was born June 19, and he started his next project, playing Foggy Nelson in the Netflix series "Daredevil" two weeks later.
Hensen confessed he didn't know much about the "Daredevil" comics, either. He took a crash course, and is glad he did, given the intense interest of the comics' fans.
"Every day, people stop me in the street. They actually seem upset if I've had some kind of disagreement with Charlie (Cox, who plays the title character). Of course, mostly, I'm glad they're so invested in the story."
's new album, "25," is on the verge of an unprecedented week of sales.
"25" is predicted to break N'SYNC's "No Strings Attached" industry record of 2.42 million sold in a single week in the Nielsen Soundscan era (post-1991). Coincidentally, "25" is not being released to streaming services.
After dropping Friday, "25" reportedly moved 900,000 copies via iTunes on its first day.
To put Adele's numbers into perspective - because at Tattle we're all about perspective - the combined total for the big new releases by Justin Bieber and One Direction was 924,000 (522,000 for the Biebs, 402,000 for 1D), and Bieber's number was the biggest one so far this year.
Until Adele slapped him around like a little boy.
The biggest number last year was when Taylor Swift moved 1.29 million units of "1989" the week it dropped last fall.
So, the girls may swoon over the boys, but the women sell.
* A white 2003 Cadillac Escalade used by fictional mobster Tony Soprano and signed by the late James Gandolfini in three places, was a hit at auction Friday, selling for nearly $120,000.
RR Auction, in Boston, said that the car was used during the final three seasons of the HBO series "The Sopranos."
No information was provided about the buyer, who paid $119,780, but he is believed to dress well and wear glasses.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.