As expected, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” a prequel to “The Hunger Games,” emerged triumphant in a packed box office weekend, despite opening slightly below anticipated figures. The movie is set in the dystopia of Panem and hauled in $44 million from 3,776 North American theaters and $98 million globally during its first weekend in theaters. This impressive debut, although falling short of the original franchise’s success, was enough to secure the lead against three other new releases.
Competing against the newcomers, Disney’s superhero sequel “The Marvels” saw a drastic 79% decrease in ticket sales during its second weekend, marking the biggest drop ever in the Marvel Cinematic Universe history. It only generated $10.2 million from 4,030 theaters after its disappointing premiere, casting doubt on the movie’s ability to match the success of its predecessor by the end of its run.
Despite its relatively lower opening weekend compared to the original films, analysts believe “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” has strong potential during its theatrical run, considering its production cost of $100 million, which lies between the budgets of the original and its sequels.
The film, starring Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth, delves into the world of Panem long before Katniss Everdeen, providing a deeper understanding of the establishment of the tyrannical rule. Reviews have been mixed, but the film is expected to gain steady traction due to a recent boost in publicity prior to its theatrical release.
While “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” thrives, fellow newcomers “Trolls Band Together,” “Thanksgiving,” and “Next Goal Wins” have secured decent box office receipts for the pre-Thanksgiving frame.
“Trolls Band Together” generated $30.6 million, ranking third among animated films’ opening weekends for the year. On the other hand, “Thanksgiving,” an R-rated slasher, and “Next Goal Wins” featuring Michael Fassbender, faced challenges during their debuts.
As the box office anticipates the upcoming releases of “Napoleon” and “Wish,” “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” holds the spotlight as a commendable action-adventure prequel with the potential for lasting success.