'Hunger Games' holds No. 1 spot in North America after 'Napoleon' premiere

The Hunger Games sequel held on to the top of the North American box office over the long Thanksgiving weekend in the US, holding off the release of Ridley Scott's new film Napoleon, Exhibitor Relations said.

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay" grossed an estimated $42 million Wednesday through Sunday -- boosted by Thanksgiving Day viewers -- and $28.8 million in the usual Friday through Sunday period.

This fifth film in the Hunger Games series stars Tom Blythe, Rachel Zegler and Peter Dinklage in the story of the 10th Hunger Games in the dystopian country of Panem.

In second place is Sony's latest version of the Napoleon epic, with ticket sales of $32.5 million for the five-day weekend and $20.4 million for the three days.

"It's a good start to an adventure epic," said analyst David A. Gross, who noted the professionalism of director Ridley Scott and the strong leads of Joaquin Phoenix as the French emperor and Vanessa Kirby as Empress Josephine.

The European space should help the film "do better overseas," Gross said. However, he noted that the film had a "huge" production budget of $200 million and had met with lukewarm reviews, with many French critics noting historical inaccuracies.

Meanwhile, Disney failed to fully fulfill its "Wish" with the release of the lavish animation of that name. It collected $31.7 million in five days and $19.5 million in three days, which according to Gross is roughly half of what similar films have earned in the past./BGNES