The Big Picture
- The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes fell below expectations at the global box office, generating $98.5 million worldwide.
- Making $44 million domestically, the Hunger Games prequel came in just under early box office predictions.
- The international box office was led by the United Kingdom, with the film opening with $6.7 million.
The odds were mostly in the favor of Lionsgate this weekend, as The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes brought the Hunger Games franchise back onto the big screen after an eight-year hiatus. The reinvigoration of the Hunger Games saga came out on top at the global box office, with the film generating an estimated $98.5 million worldwide, but these totals still came in beneath what most analysts were expecting.
This $98.5 million total came from $44 million generated in North America, an unsurprising sum given the popularity of the Hunger Games franchise in the states. The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes led the way at the U.S. box office, topping Disney’s second-place finisher The Marvels, but was still below initial projections. However, despite this clear underperformance in the United States, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes managed to generate another $54.5 million overseas. The international box office was led by the United Kingdom, where the film opened with $6.7 million. Rounding out the top five nations were Germany with $4.8 million, China with $4.5 million, France with $4.1 million, and Mexico with $3.7 million.
While this total is nothing to gawk at, it does mark a low for the franchise whose first four films generated a combined $3 billion globally during their theatrical runs. The highest-grossing film of those four, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, grossed more than $865 million at the worldwide box office, a figure The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is unlikely to come anywhere near that total. While the film could still easily recoup its reported $100 million budget, it is likely being bogged down by mixed reviews — it currently holds a 61% on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest in the franchise — and a less-than-favorable marketing window coming out of the dual Hollywood strikes. However, the film also has this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend to continue raking in the dollars.
‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Serves as a Prequel
While Lionsgate’s newest Hunger Games entry doesn’t have the star power of Jennifer Lawrence behind it, the film still has a notable cast. Based on the book of the same name by Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes serves as a prequel to the original series. Taking place 64 years prior to the first book, the film stars Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow, the future president of Panem. Snow is forced to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from lowly District 12, in the upcoming 10th Hunger Games. But when Lucy captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates.
The film also stars Viola Davis, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman, Josh Andrés Rivera, and Peter Dinklage. The project is directed by Francis Lawrence, who helmed the final three films of the original series. Lawrence directs from a screenplay by Michael Lesslie and Michael Arndt. Lawrence also produces alongside Nina Jacobsen and Brad Simpson for their Color Force banner and Lionsgate’s Good Universe label. Collins executive produces alongside Mika Saito, Jim Miller, and Tim Palen.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is now in theaters.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) — the last hope for the once-proud Snow family — who is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12 for the 10th Hunger Games. Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will become a songbird or a snake.
- Release Date
- November 17, 2023
- Francis Lawrence
- Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Viola Davis, Tom Blyth, Peter Dinklage, Jason Schwartzman, Burn Gorman, Fionnula Flanagan
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