Holiday horror-comedy Krampus out-performed expectations in its debut at the North American box office, grossing $16 million from 2,902 theaters to come in No. 2 behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -; Part 2.
Mockingjay 2 stayed No. 1 for the third consecutive weekend with $18.6 million from 4,086 locations. The final installment in Lionsgate's YA film franchise raced past the $500 million globally over the weekend, finishing Sunday with a worldwide cume of $523.9 million.
In a surprise upset, Legendary and Universal's Krampus bested animated family tentpole The Good Dinosaur, which tumbled more than 60 percent in its second weekend, one of the biggest drops for a Pixar title.
Good Dinosaur tied with Warner Bros.' Rocky reboot Creed for the No. 3 spot, with book films estimating weekend earnings of $15.5 million. The exact order will be determined Monday when final weekend numbers are released. Globally, Good Dinosaur has earned $131.4 million through Sunday.
From director Ryan Coogler, Creed continued to deliver a strong punch in its second weekend, falling just 48 percent for a domestic total of $65 million through Sunday.
Directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick r' Treat), Krampus stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette and David Koechner and recounts the ancient legend of Krampus, who punishes those who have lost their Christmas spirit.
The weekend's only other new nationwide offering, The Letters, failed to generate much interest. The biographical drama, starring Juliet Stevenson as Mother Theresa, bombed with $802,000 from 886 theaters after receiving scathing reviews. Freestyle Releasing is handling the indie film in the U.S.
A flurry of movies opened at the specialty box office as awards season intensifies, including Spike Lee's well-received Chi-Raq, the first title from Amazon's original films division. The movie, tackling the issue of gun violence in Chicago, looks to come in No. 13 with roughly $1.2 million from 305 locations.
Chi-raq is doing its biggest business in Chicago, according to those with access to grosses.It's unclear how wide Chi-raq will ultimately play, since many theaters will likely refuse to carry the title since it will be offered relatively quickly on Amazon Prime. Roadside Attractions is handling the film theatrically.
Other new limited offerings include Macbeth, based on William Shakespeare's play and starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. The film is on course to open to $68,800 from 5 theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $13,760.
Paolo Sorrentino's Youth, starring Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano, looks to open to roughly $79,000 from four theaters for a location average of nearly $20,000.
Both movies have earned strong reviews, and first premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. However, neither will match holdovers Carol and The Danish Girl, which are pacing to score location averages of roughly $35,000 and $26,000, respectively.