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'Mockingjay' sets 2014 record for tickets sold on first day of presale

On Wednesday, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 opened advance ticket sales and has already broken a 2014 record. According to a Fandango press release, Mockingjay sold more first-day advance tickets than any other 2014 film, passing the previous record-holder, Divergent. In its first day, Mockingjay accounted for 80 percent of Fandango’s daily ticket sales.

Over on Movietickets.com, the trend continued, with Mockingjay exceeding the first day advance sales of any other 2014 film, including Guardians of the GalaxyMockingjay also doubled the number of tickets sold on the first day of presales for Catching Fire last year. Sounds like the odds are in Mockingjay‘s favor.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 hits theaters Nov. 21.

Box office report: 'Ouija' scares up $20 million, 'Citizenfour' opens strong

Ouija, the microbudget, board game-inspired horror pic, came out on top in its opening weekend with a strong (but expected) $20 million showing from 2,858 locations. Meanwhile, Keanu Reeves’ John Wick proved its own strength with a $14.15 million weekend, which doesn’t look all that impressive on its own but is almost double what tracking predicted for the bloody revenge thriller.

Critics may have hated Ouija (even audiences slapped it with a C CinemaScore), but it is a box office truth universally acknowledged that teens will turn out for horror films, no matter how poorly reviewed — especially when they open just days before Halloween. Audiences were a whopping 75 percent under 25, 61 percent female and ethnically mixed. (39 percent of audiences were Hispanic, 31 percent Caucasian, and 12 percent African American.) It also opened in five international territories to $1.3 million and will continue its rollout over the next few months. Ouija cost Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes under $5 million to produce, so no matter what sort of dramatic drop off Ouija might suffer in weekend two, it’s already another micro budget success for Universal and Blumhouse.

“We saw how this film worked with its target audience,” Universal’s President of Domestic Distribution Nikki Rocco told EW. “We watched the tracking for the last three weeks, and there is something to be said for making these microbudget films and making them really, really work. The PG-13 was so smart. It works. PG-13 works. And here are the results.”

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Box office update: 'Ouija' scores with $8.3 million Friday

Keanu Reeves is no match for a board game, it seems. After debuting in early Thursday night showings, Universal’s spooky Ouija has earned an estimated $8.3 million, putting it on track for a $20 million weekend, while Lionsgate and Summit’s John Wick took in an estimated $5.45 million, suggesting the violent revenge pic will net out around $14 million by weekend’s close.

While Ouija, which cost Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes less than $5 million to produce, is a resounding success, $20 million is a little less impressive than the standard Blumhouse fate. The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy, for instance, opened to $34.1 and $29.1 million respectively. This is more on par with 2012’s Sinister, which had an $18 million opening weekend in mid-October and grossed $48.1 million domestically by the end of its run. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Ouija' faces off against 'John Wick'

Keanu Reeves, once one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, will be competing against a board game thriller this weekend as John Wick opens against Ouija. In this case, it looks like the teen screamers might have the edge despite the overall stellar reviews for Reeves’ revenge picthe latest R-rated film to hit a particularly crowded market. St. Vincent also expands nationwide after playing for two weeks in limited release, but its unlikely to crack the top five.

Here’s how things might play out:

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5 indie movies with the worst box-office openings of all time

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Last weekend, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children opened in wide release to poor reviews and lackluster ticket sales. In fact, after earning only $306, 367 on its opening weekend, the film now holds the distinction of being the fifth-worst opening movie from 1982 to the present, according to Box Office Mojo.

It’s an unfortunate turn for Reitman, a talented director who seems to be in a bit of a rut (see also: his previous film, Labor Day). But what about the four indie flicks that performed even worse than Men, Women & Children—did they get what was coming to them, or were their box-office takes lower than they should have been? Let’s take a look: READ FULL STORY

Despite slumping box office, movie ticket prices continue to rise in third quarter

Much has been made of 2014’s lagging box-office results, but that hasn’t stopped theater owners from charging a premium for a seat this summer.

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Box office preview: 'Fury' storms into theaters

Gone Girl may have had a cozy two weeks at the top of the box office, but there’s a new contender in town: Fury. Brad Pitt stars in the David Ayer-directed WWII pic that’s expected to march to the top spot by the weekend’s close, in spite of the crowded adult-targeted market.

The Guillermo del Toro-produced animated pic The Book of Life hits theaters this weekend, too, as does the weepy Nicolas Sparks adaptation The Best of Me. Jason Reitman’s Men, Women, and Children also expands nationwide after two uninspiring weeks in limited release.

Here’s how things might play out.

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Box office report: 'Dracula Untold' can't suck the blood out of 'Gone Girl'

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Despite an impressive showing, Dracula was no match for Amazing Amy, even in her second weekend in theaters. David Fincher’s adaptation of Gone Girl took the top spot again, only falling 30 percent from its debut weekend, with an estimated $26.8 million. The Fox pic, which cost around $61 million to produce, has grossed $78.3 million domestically so far and looks poised to go on to be Fincher’s highest earner (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button holds the current title with $127.5 million).

Universal’s Dracula Untold, an origin story of the classic character starring Luke Evans, opened in second place with $23.5 from 2,887 theaters, including IMAX ($4 million from 351 screens) and large format screens. The PG-13 rated fantasy cost around $70 million to produce and has already made $62.6 million from 42 territories internationally. Audiences, which were 57 percent male and 39 percent under age 25, seemed to enjoy the dark tale, too, giving it an A- CinemaScore. “It’s better than anyone expected in the industry. With exit polls as strong as they were, it’s promising,” says Universal’s president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco. “We’re very pleased with the result.”

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Box office update: 'Dracula Untold' leads, 'Gone Girl' close No. 2

Amazing Amy has a new foe to reckon with this weekend. Universal and Legendary’s Dracula Untold (Cinema Score: A-) edged out Gone Girl for the No. 1 spot, Friday. Starring Luke Evans as the classic bloodsucker, Dracula Untold took in around $8.9 million, Friday (including Thursday showings), while David Fincher’s Gone Girl earned an estimated $8.15 million. It could be a tight race to No. 1, but tracking suggests that Gone Girl may end up the victor with $26 or $27 million this weekend and a $3 million lead over Dracula.

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Box office preview: 'Gone Girl' gets some fresh competition

Robert Downey Jr., Dracula, and a cute, unlucky family have all come out to challenge Gone Girl and Annabelle‘s box office reign this weekend.

David Fincher’s popular psychological thriller could hold down the top spot for the second weekend in a row, with that demon doll close behind, but it’s going to be a tight race with The Judge, Dracula Untold, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The adultery thriller Addicted also opens in around 800 locations, and there’s a slew of great limited release choices debuting too, including the buzzy Sundance sensation Whiplash.

Here’s how things might play out.

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