“Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” dominates the box office arena, while “The Marvels ”suffers a historic drop

The "Hunger Games" prequel debuts at No. 1 with $44 million, the smallest opening of the franchise.

The 10th annual Hunger Games have begun, and moviegoers are tentatively tuning in to meet Rachel Zegler’s tribute, Lucy Gray Baird.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes debuted to No.1 at the box office this weekend, taking in an estimated $44 million in North America for a total of $98.5 million worldwide. This makes it the smallest opening weekend in the franchise yet: but while the prequel came in below expectations, not quite copying the success of the original films led by Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, it still managed to win the weekend.

In Ballad, Tom Blyth stars as a young Coriolanus Snow, who mentors Lucy in the games on his journey to becoming the president of Panem. Coming 8 years after the YA trilogy came to an end, the film has largely arrived to positive reviews. However, much like The Marvels, the stars had a short window to promote the film, even with a SAG waiver granted earlier this month.

<p>Murray Close/Lionsgate</p> Rachel Zegler in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Murray Close/Lionsgate

Rachel Zegler in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Snagging the second spot, Trolls Band Together took in $31.7 million domestically in its debut weekend for a global total of $108 million. The fourth entry into the blockbuster Trolls franchise not only reunites Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake as Poppy and Branch, but features all of NSYNCS as BroZone, Branch’s former bandmates.

Elsewhere, after opening with the worst box office in MCU history, The Marvels suffered another blow by dropping 78%. Raking in an additional $10.2 million, the total now lands at $65 million domestic (and 96.3 million internationally).

Asked to give her thoughts on the disappointing box office turnout, young MCU star Iman Vellani told Yahoo Entertainment, “I don’t want to focus on something that’s not even in my control, because what’s the point? That’s for Bob Iger.”

She added, “[The box office] has nothing to do with me. I’m happy with the finished product, and the people that I care about enjoyed the film. It’s genuinely a good time watching this movie, and that’s all we can ask for with these films.”

Fresh off her Disney+ series as Ms. Marvel stars Vellani alongside Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Teynoah Parris (Monica Rambeau) as the trio unite for an intergalactic adventure.

<p>Laura Radford/MARVEL.</p> Brie Larson in The Marvels

Laura Radford/MARVEL.

Brie Larson in The Marvels

In less child-friendly news, Sony opened R-rated holiday horror flick Thanksgiving to a domestic debut of $10.2 million (12.6 million worldwide). Inspired by a the fictitious trailer featured in the 2007’s Grindhouse, the Eli Roth-directed film stars Patrick Dempsey as sheriff of a town terrorized by a mysterious killer.

Speaking of killers, Five Nights at Freddy's is still hanging on to the top five, in all its animatronic horror. The spooky video game adaptation earned an additional $3.5 million, bringing its total to $132.6 million ($271.8 million worldwide).

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