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There’s no business quite like showbusiness. Hollywood is a fickle town, and despite investing millions of dollars in a popular product; sometimes things don’t work out the way a studio plans them to. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 hit theaters this November and performed far below the expectations of Lionsgate. They seem to have a theory as to why the film underperformed, and it has to do with a combination of current, tragic events, and a galaxy far, far away.
As reported by Deadline, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairman Rob Friedman recently spoke out regarding the somewhat underwhelming performance of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. In the report he explains that the film underperformed by $100 million primarily due to the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris in November, as well as the December release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There’s some degree of merit to these claims. Acts of violence do have a tendency to weaken the performance of film release – as was the case with the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting when The Dark Knight Rises hit theaters. Perhaps more importantly it’s also worth noting that the release of Star Wars was in fact a major moment for the film industry last year, and numerous other films did suffer as a result of its massive box office draw. All told, Friedman believes that Star Wars cut into the profts of Mockingjay by a factor of $50-$100 million, which is nothing to scoff at.
Further adding credence to this theory is the fact that Lionsgate had a decent year outside of the underperforming Hunger Games franchise. In their television department they have continued to see massive success with their hit series Orange is the New Black, as well as The Wendy Williams Show. Of course, the studio cannot blame all of the film’s faults on outside factors.
The simple fact of the matter is that Mockingjay Part 2 was met with a lukewarm response from critics and audiences alike. One reason for this is that audiences did not respond well to the overwhelmingly gloomy and morose atmosphere of the film, while others felt that the series had merely overstayed its welcome. Splitting Mockingjay into two parts didn’t help either, as many felt that the story could have been told in a single movie.
Despite the fact that the final installment of The Hunger Game franchise underperformed at the box office, rumors continue to persist that the franchise may be spun off for more films now that Katniss Everdeen's story has come to a close. We will keep you up to date regarding any and all information surrounding the future of the Hunger Games universe.