LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, starring Jennifer Lawrence as the young archer who rallies the downtrodden citizens of a dystopian society, collected US$21.6 million (S28.6 million) to lead the box office charts for a third consecutive weekend.
DreamWorks Animation's Penguins of Madagascar was second with US$11.1 million at US and Canadian theatres during a slow post-Thanksgiving weekend, when moviegoers traditionally turn their attention toward shopping.
"This weekend will wind up down versus the same weekend a year ago, when Frozen topped the chart with US$31.6 million,"said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at tracking firm Rentrak.
Horrible Bosses 2, starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as entrepreneurs who help to stage a kidnapping to get ahead, was third with US$8.6 million in sales for the three days from Friday through Sunday, according to Rentrak estimates.
Mockingjay has collected US$257.7 million since its Nov 21 release, according to Rentrak. Based on author Suzanne Collins's best-selling book, the movie has a global total of more than US$560 million.
The film's performance put it on track to become the year's second-highest grossing film, behind only "Guardians of the Galaxy," early this week, Rentrak said.
But Mockingjay will likely finish below last year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, according to Box Office Mojo, which said November's overall box office total was down 4 per cent from 2013's. For the year it forecast a 3 per cent drop from the US$10.6 billion recorded last year.
Rounding out this week's top five, Disney's Big Hero 6 was fourth with US$8.1 million. It has totalled US$177.5 million since its Nov. 7 release. Director Christopher Nolan's space adventure Interstellar was fifth with US$8 million. The film starring Matthew McConaughey has total domestic sales of $158.7 million.
The box office is expected to pick up significantly next week with two widely anticipated releases, comedian Chris Rock's Top Five which he also directed and wrote, and Ridley Scott's epic Exodus: Gods and Kings.