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When the clock struck midnight and December 31, 2014 turned into January 1, 2015, it was James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy that was declared the domestic box office champion of the year. But just because 2014 ended doesn't mean that its films ceased to continue making money. As such, 22 days after last year ended, we now have to crown a new domestic king. Or should I say queen.
The latest numbers have come in over at Box Office Mojo, and it has been declared that Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 has surpassed Guardians of the Galaxy in the domestic standings. After riding high for weeks at number one during the last month of the summer, the Marvel film managed to pull in an astonishing $333,172,112, but now that total has been surpassed by the penultimate chapter of the Jennifer Lawrence-led young adult series.
What adds an interesting extra layer to this news is the fact that The Hunger Games as a franchise has now pulled off something no other in Hollywood has ever done. After all, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was also the number one movie of the year when it came out in 2013, and that makes the series the first ever to have two number one domestic box office champions two years in a row. It would be three years in a row, but the first Hunger Games movie came out in 2012, which was notably the same year as both Joss Whedon's The Avengers and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.
It would naturally be pretty impressive if The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 can create the threepeat in 2015, but it's also pretty doubtful that will actually achieve that lofty goal. While the film will undoubtedly make a ridiculous amount of money - it is the finale of an incredibly popular franchise after all - there is simply too much huge competition in 2014. Not only will there be yet another Avengers movie to face off with, but there is also Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming out at the end of the year. There's a realistic possibility that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 could make $500 million and yet still only come in third place for 2015.
To broaden the view of this story, it's also worth noting that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 isn't done growing internationally either. It's set to make its debut in China at the start of next month, and then it will be getting released in Japan during the summer. So while the film may currently sit at number seven on the worldwide chart, behind not only Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past and more, that ranking could start rapidly rising in the next few weeks as well.