Final Hunger Games movie Mockingjay, Part 2 rules North American box office

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2.
Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2.PHOTO: CATHAY-KERIS FILMS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The fourth and final movie in the Hunger Games franchise - the saga that turned Jennifer Lawrence into a Hollywood mega-star - ruled the North American box offices over the weekend, early results showed Sunday.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 raked in US$101 million (S$142.80 million) in ticket sales in its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, according to ticket sales tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Mockingjay, Part 2, however, failed to meet the income of its predecessor, Mockingjay, Part 1, which opened at $121.9 million, according to ticket sales tracker Rentrak.

Nevertheless the Hunger Games movie franchise, based on a trio of best-selling young adult fantasy novels by Suzanne Collins, had already grossed some US$2.2 billion worldwide before the latest opening, according to Lionsgate, the studio that produced the films.

The books and the movies tell the story of Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence), a teenage heroine pitched into a deadly battle for survival in the macabre post-apocalyptic kingdom of Panem.

In second place was Spectre, the latest James Bond movie, with gross sales of US$14.6 million.

The star-studded spy thriller - with Daniel Craig as 007, and including Italian beauty Monica Bellucci and Austrian Oscar winner Christoph Waltz as the villain - has raked in US$153.7 million in its three weeks in cinemas.

Third in popularity was the computer-animated 3D cartoon The Peanuts Movie, which pulled in US$12.8 million.

The family-friendly film was the first big screen rendering in 35 years for the comic book characters created by the late Charles Schulz, who died in 2000.

Two debuts also made the top five list: The Night Before, a male buddy comedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, with US$10.1 million; and Secret In Their Eyes, a murder mystery starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman, at US$6.6 million.

The rest of the top ten were: 6. Love The Coopers (US$3.9 million) 7. The Martian (US$3.7 million) 8. Spotlight (US$3.6 million) 9. The 33 (US$2.2 million) 10. Bridge Of Spies (US$2 million.)