NORTH AMREICA: Weekend Estimates: ‘Mockingjay – Part 1’ Claims $21.6M to Lead for a Third Straight Weekend; ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ Remains in Second with $11.1M

Sunday Update: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 took in an estimated $21.6 million this weekend to lead the weekend box office for a third consecutive frame. The third installment of Lionsgate’s blockbuster franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence was down 62 percent from last weekend’s three-day frame. That represented a slightly better third weekend percentage hold than that of last year’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which fell 65 percent in its third weekend to gross $26.19 million. Mockingjay – Part 1 is the first film to lead the weekend box office for three straight weekends since Guardians of the Galaxy did so earlier this year. Mockingjay – Part 1 has grossed $257.73 million through 17 days of release. That places the film 23 percent behind the $335.85 million 17-day take of Catching Fire.

Penguins of Madagascar grossed an estimated $11.1 million to remain in second. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was down 56 percent from last weekend. It is commonplace for non-holiday family films to drop off significantly the weekend after Thanksgiving, due in part to family attendance traditionally increasing over Thanksgiving weekend. Penguins of Madagascar has grossed $49.59 million through twelve days of release. That is below pre-release expectations and places the film 12 percent behind the $56.36 million twelve-day takeoff 2011’s The Muppets (which fell 62 percent in its second weekend to gross $11.08 million).

Warner’s Horrible Bosses 2 was up two spots from last weekend to claim third place with an estimated $8.6 million. The R-rated comedy sequel was down 44 percent from last weekend. That represented one of this weekend’s stronger percentage holds, as the film’s Thanksgiving weekend performance was clearly deflated a bit. With that said, Horrible Bosses 2 is still performing well below pre-release expectations with a lackluster twelve-day start of just $36.07 million. Horrible Bosses 2 is running a disappointing 45 percent behind the $65.67 million twelve-day take of 2011’s Horrible Bosses.

Big Hero 6 placed in fourth with an estimated $8.13 million. The successful 3D computer animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios was down 57 percent. Big Hero 6 has grossed $177.55 million in 31 days. That places the film 12 percent ahead of the $158.18 million 31-day take of Wreck-It Ralph. Big Hero 6 is still in good shape to eventually surpass the $200 million domestic mark, especially with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays still ahead of it.

Paramount’s Interstellar rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $8.0 million. The Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film fell 49 percent. Interstellar continues to run below expectations with $158.66 million after 31 days of wide release. The film has held up nicely thus far, but it will soon begin to face direct competition from both Fox’s Exodus: Gods and Kings and Warner’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Meanwhile, Fox’s The Pyramid was off to a soft ninth place start this weekend with an estimated $1.35 million. The writing was on the wall for the low-budget horror film after it was released in just 589 locations this weekend. Fox clearly has its attention already focused on the release of Exodus: Gods and Kings this coming Friday.

Fox Searchlight’s Wild was off to a far more promising start with an estimated $630,000 this weekend from 21 locations. That gave the critically acclaimed drama starring Reese Witherspoon a per-location average of $30,000 for the frame. After an additional two days of release (in 5 locations), Wild has grossed $677,248 through five days.

Elsewhere in platform release, The Weinstein Company’s The Imitation Game remained strong with an estimated $401,570 from 8 locations. The awards season hopeful starring Benedict Cumberbatch claimed a per-location average of $50,196 for the frame. The Imitation Game has grossed $1.01 million in ten days of platform release and will continue to expand into new locations on Friday.

Saturday Update: Lionsgate reports The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 took in an estimated $6.56 million on Friday, bringing its domestic total to $242.7 million. BoxOffice projects the film will easily win its third straight weekend with a projected $22 million frame.

Warner Bros.’ Horrible Bosses 2 posted $2.74 million in second place yesterday, bringing its 10-day total to $30.2 million. BoxOffice projects an $8.3 million second weekend.

Fox/DreamWorks’ Penguins of Madagascar added $2.38 million in third place to begin its second weekend. The animated spin-off has tallied $40.9 million through 10 days of release. BoxOffice projects a $10.7 million sophomore frame.

Paramount reports that Interstellar grabbed another $2.14 million yesterday, giving the Christopher Nolan space epic a domestic tally of $152.8 million to-date. BoxOffice projects a $7.2 million fifth weekend.

Disney’s Big Hero 6 filled out the fifth spot yesterday with $1.81 million. The toon’s haul now stands at an overall $171.2 million. BoxOffice projects a $7.6 million weekend.

Meanwhile, The Pyramid bowed to $0.46 million from 589 locations on Friday. Early word of mouth is struggling with just a 53 percent Flixster user score, while Rotten Tomatoes critics have stamped the horror flick with 9 percent. BoxOffice projects a $1.25 million weekend.

Opening in platform release this week, Wild–starring Reese Witherspoon–added an estimated $165,000 million from 21 locations yesterday. Since opening on Wednesday, the film has tallied $212,248. BoxOffice projects a $550,000 weekend.