The biggest 2014 opening weekend at the box office should be great news for the studio behind the movie, right?
Not for Lionsgate, which is experiencing the fickle game of expectations on Wall Street after the latest installment of its "Hunger Games" series fell short. But Barton Crockett, media analyst at FBR Capital Markets, told CNBC Monday that he does not see a big problem.
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1" did top the weekend box office with North American ticket sales of $123 million. But that was 22 percent lower than sales for the prior "Hunger Games" movie and below projections of as much as $150 million domestically.
Industry watchers blamed a number factors, including the fact that "Mockingjay" was not playing in premium IMAX venues because the theater chain was still showing "Interstellar." The first "Hunger Games" movie made more than $10 million in IMAX, before the second one, "Catching Fire," pulled in about $12 million on IMAX screens.
"We are trimming [Lionsgate] estimates a little bit, by 1 percent or so, this morning," Crockett said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "It's helpful that Lionsgate is running so lean." The studio is said to have spent about $50 million to market the film domestically, which the FBR analyst said is a lot less than he was anticipating and "a lot less than you see for any movie like this."
"One of the offsets is that the movie internationally is performing better than we anticipated," Crockett added. Outside the U.S. and Canada, foreign sales on the weekend were $152 million.