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'Good Dinosaur' and 'Creed' can't beat 'Mockingjay -- Part 2' at the box office

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2” proved to be a tough competitor at the holiday box office, as the finale of the young adult movie series led ticket sales for a second weekend and beat newcomers "The Good Dinosaur" and "Creed."

Lionsgate’s “Mockingjay -- Part 2” grossed an estimated $75.8 million in the U.S. and Canada over the five-day Thanksgiving break. Although analysts had expected the film to fall to second place, the film held onto No. 1 by having the best second-weekend hold (ticket sales down just 50%) of any of the four films in the franchise. The picture, based on Suzanne Collins’ novels, has grossed more than $198 million domestically and more than $440 million worldwide. It is said to have cost $175 million to $200 million to make.

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Coming in second place was "The Good Dinosaur," Walt Disney Co.’s new Pixar offering. Grossing an estimated $56 million, the prehistoric animated feature fell short of projections of more than $60 million. Nonetheless, “Dinosaur” landed as the fourth highest five-day Thanksgiving opening in industry history. It joins fellow Disney titles in the top five, listed in order: “Frozen,” “Toy Story 2,” “Tangled” and “Enchanted.”

“It’s always a good week when we’re putting a Pixar movie into theaters,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s executive vice president of theatrical sales and distribution. “Pixar has always been a brand that is for all audiences. The idea of having a film that can be as fun for dad as it is for daughter, that's what these guys do best.”

According to audience polling firm CinemaScore, "The Good Dinosaur" received an A grade from moviegoers. It tracked well with families (79% of the audience) and kids under 12 (40% of the audience). Critics also reviewed the movie favorably; 81% of those on the Rotten Tomatoes website gave it positive rating.

“Dinosaur” pushed the other animated film in theaters, Fox’s “The Peanuts Movie,” to fifth place with an estimated $13.6 million. Charlie Brown and Snoopy have grossed $116.7 million domestically since the film's Nov. 6 launch.

The new MGM and New Line Cinema-financed “Creed” rounded out the weekend’s top three with $42.6 million. The $37-million spinoff from the popular “Rocky” movie series by director Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) beat its $35-million projection.

Distributed by Warner Bros., the film stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone and Tessa Thompson. It broke an industry record for Tuesday shows before Thanksgiving weekend, grossing $1.4 million.

“Here you have a young director who had a passion for this project,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. executive vice president of distribution. “He inspired Michael B. to give an incredible performance and really captured what Sly is all about.”

Critics and audiences have agreed, raving about Jordan’s performance as Adonis, son of Rocky Balboa’s opponent-turned-friend Apollo Creed. Stallone returns in the role of Balboa while Thompson plays Adonis' girlfriend, Bianca.

The first film in MGM’s boxing franchise since 2006, “Creed” scored an A with CinemaScore audiences. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a 93% positive rating.

Audiences skewed male (66%) and older than 25 (62%). The film also did particularly well among African American and Latino communities.

Rounding out the larger new releases was 20th Century Fox’s “Victor Frankenstein,” the latest take on the story of a scientist playing God. The movie, starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, finished significantly lower than projected with only $3.4 million and did not crack the top 10.

In limited release, Focus Features’ “The Danish Girl” opened on four screens to $185,000. The biographical film about the gender transition of artist Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) has found itself in conversation about potential awards recognition.

According to studio surveys, the film did well attracting its target audience of older women: 58% of the audience was female, and 67% was older than 40. “The Danish Girl” will begin expansion to more markets Dec. 11.

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Other limited release pictures continued to perform well as they expanded locations. Open Road’s “Spotlight” grossed $5.7 million on fewer than 900 screens. The Tom McCarthy-directed drama about the Boston Globe’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of sexual abuse by priests is in the top 10 for a second weekend in a row, this time at No. 8.

Also of note is Fox Searchlight’s “Brooklyn,” which posted $4.9 million on fewer than 850 screens, finishing ninth. Directed by John Crowley, the cast is led by Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish girl who finds herself in love while in America.

Propelled by Oscar buzz not only for stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara but also director Todd Haynes, Weinstein Co.’s “Carol” was the per-screen average leader for the second weekend in a row. The picture took in $276,000 on four screens for an average of $69,000. The film has been nominated for best picture by the Indie Spirit Awards, Gotham Awards and British Independent Film Awards.

Get your life! Follow me on Twitter: @TrevellAnderson.

Copyright © 2017, CT Now

UPDATE

10:40 a.m. This article was updated with studio comments and other details.

This post was originally published at 9:44 a.m.

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