The hideous Rachel Zegler might have single-handedly killed the future of the Hunger Games franchise. It’s a little too early to declare Zegler Box Office Poison. Things could turn around for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes over the upcoming five-day Thanksgiving weekend. What we do know is that the highly-anticipated prequel was expected to do much better this weekend.
Songbirds & Snakes opened to a weak $44 million domestic. As Box Office Pro points out, that is…
- -71% below 2012’s The Hunger Games: $152.5M
- -72% below 2013’s Catching Fire: $158.0M
- -64% below 2014’s Mockingjay Part 1: $121.8M
- -57% below 2015’s Mockingjay Part 2: $102.6M
Based on the final box office performance of the four previous Hunger Games installments compared to their opening weekends, this means Songbirds and Snakes will top out around $115 million domestic, which means its total box office won’t top the opening weekends of the first three original movies.
If Songbirds & Snakes grosses only a little over $115 million, compare that to the domestic gross of its predecessors:
- The Hunger Games: $286M
- Catching Fire: $440M
- Mockingjay Part 1: $418M
- Mockingjay Part 2: $371M
Nobody expects prequels to do as well as the original franchise. Still, even with Thanksgiving right around the corner, the entertainment media are already asking if this is the end of the Hunger Games franchise.
Weekend projections had Songbirds & Snakes opening somewhere between $42 million and $55 million.
Naturally, no one will admit to the following…
Rachel Zegler was cast in Songbirds before being caught on video repeatedly exposing herself as a smug, entitled, unappealing, mouthy, ignorant Little Miss Bossypants. My guess is that she was also cast in Songbirds & Snakes before her big debut — director Steven Spielberg’s woke remake of West Side Story — tanked at the box office.
Had Zegler shown a little gratitude and humility about her sudden fame and stardom, had she tried to charm the public rather than strut around like an insecure girlboss, Songbirds & Snakes would have undoubtedly opened to a much higher number. But rather than earn the public’s goodwill, she chose instead to lecture and scold us, to pose as something superior, which undoubtedly killed much of the franchise’s goodwill. Who wants to spend 160 minutes with someone they don’t like?
One of the reasons the original Hunger Games became a money-printing machine was Jennifer Lawrence. Before Lawrence exposed her own self as a mouthy, ignorant, divisive, smug girlboss, the public liked her. I sure did. She was the rarest of species these days: a legitimate movie star. Then Lawrence squandered all that, and now she’s Box Office Poison, a faded star who hasn’t delivered a hit in nearly a decade.
You’d think Zegler (or her management team) would have used her Hunger Games predecessor as an example of what not to do.
Zegler almost certainly has another high-profile flop en route. Hoping the public has a short memory, the public relations disaster that is her $300 million live-action remake of Snow White has already been delayed to 2025. If that movie tanks, it will be for several reasons, but most of the fault will land entirely on Zegler’s big, stupid mouth, and her career as a “leading lady” will end as the most disastrous in history.
John Nolte’s debut novel Borrowed Time (Bombardier Books) has nothing to do with anything you just read, but it’s getting great reader reviews, and you should buy lots of copies for your whole family — including all your cousins.