NEW YORK — The movie industry braced for the coming storm of “The Force Awakens” over a quiet weekend where “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2” notched its fourth-straight week atop the box office and Ron Howard’s whaling tale “In the Heart of the Sea” capsized.

Few studios wanted to push out a new release ahead of the expected box-office behemoth. That left the final chapter of Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games” saga to remain No. 1 with $11.3 million according to studio estimates Sunday, bringing its domestic total to $245 million.

“In the Heart of the Sea,” starring Chris Hemsworth, was the only major new wide release to test the pre-“Star Wars” waters. But hopes for the Warner Bros. film sank with an estimated $11 million despite a production budget around $100 million.

“Ron Howard is an accomplished, terrific filmmaker who took this ambitious project on as a real passion, and we’re proud to have made it with him,” said Jeff Goldstein, domestic distribution head for Warner Bros.

Though Goldstein acknowledged it was a disappointing start, he hopes that “In the Heart of the Sea” – about the shipwreck of the Essex, which inspired Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” – will benefit over the Christmas holiday by getting out ahead of “The Force Awakens,” which opens Thursday night.

“There’s a cultural phenomenon around the corner,” Goldstein said. “Our hope was to get in in front of it and get some word of mouth so that when you get down to Christmas week – we leapfrog over this coming week – that you can break through the clutter of those other new movies.”