The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Crosses Major Milestone at Box Office

The new Hunger Games prequel movie has crossed $100 million at the domestic box office.

The new Hunger Games prequel film may not be reaching the box office heights of the Jennifer Lawrence movies, but it is bringing a bit of consistency to the box office this holiday season and establishing itself as one of the stronger big screen performers in 2023. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes recently won its second consecutive weekend at the North American box office, fending off Disney’s Wish and Apple/Sony’s Napoleon with $42.2 million over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. This week, the film crossed a major box office milestone.

According to Deadline, Songbirds & Snakes has crossed $100 million at the domestic box office, the 23rd movie to do so in 2023. Its $1.9 million haul on Monday was enough to push it over the line. Globally, Songbirds & Snakes has earned more than $165 million. With a production budget around $100 million, and the film holding strong in theaters, Songbirds & Snakes looks to be another win for Lionsgate this year. 

Tom Blyth on Taking Over for Donald Sutherland

Coriolanus Snow is the lead character of Songbirds & Snakes, though he’s a much different person as a young man than the older tyrant people came to know in the original Hunger Games saga. He’s played by Tom Blyth in this new movie, after Donald Sutherland ruled as President Snow in all four of the original films.

Ahead of the Songbirds & Snakes debut in theaters, Blyth opened up about stepping into Sutherland’s shoes.

“Yeah, I kind of had to reserve or refrain myself from going down the rabbit hole of watching all those movies again and watching his performance again,” Blyth said. “Obviously the first instinct I had was to try and recreate it somehow or to nod to it in kind of a savvy way. But the thing is that’s never going to be slick. It’s never going to be savvy. Everyone’s going to be like, ‘It feels like you’re copying a performance that has already been great.’ And you can’t, the minute as an actor you try to recreate anything that works, whether it’s something you’ve done or something another actor has done, it’s the death of spontaneity, and you just can’t recreate. It has to be fresh and it has to be in that moment. So very early on I kind of put that to the side and Francis [Lawrence] and I talked about making my own and also just asking what drives him now as opposed to what drives him later on when he is president and a dictator and a tyrant.”

As anyone who has read the prequel book already knows, this younger version of Coriolanus Snow is much different than the one in the original Hunger Games trilogy. That alone gave Blyth a lot of freedom to make the character his own.

“He has a different character in this movie. In the book, he’s a character who is a brother and a grandson and a student and an ambitious kid who just wants to do well in his life,” Blyth explained. “And then by the end of the movie he’s something totally different because of his relationship to Lucy Gray and because of his relationship to the Capitol in general and what he sees and what he learns, and the beauty of the film is that you get to see that transition in real time, and that’s what draws me to him so much as a character. And I think what fans are drawn to as a character is seeing that he’s not just one thing, he ends up as a tyrant, but 64 years before that he was something else entirely. And the interesting part is seeing what he goes through to get there.”

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is now playing in theaters.

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