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'Hunger Games' wins third largest film opening of all time

By Greg Goodsell
3/27/2012 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Novel adaptation scores $155 million opening weekend

There was no doubt that the opening for the movie adaptation of the phenomenally popular "Hunger Games" was going to be huge. "Hunger Games" made history, earning an astounding $155 million at the domestic box office. The film's debut was the third-best debut of all time and the best for any film opening outside of summer.

'Hunger Games''debut was the third-best debut of all time and the best for any film opening outside of summer.

"Hunger Games'"debut was the third-best debut of all time and the best for any film opening outside of summer.

Highlights

By Greg Goodsell
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/27/2012 (5 years ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: The Hunger Games, box office, movies, novel adaptation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Hunger Games," based upon Suzanne Collins' best-selling young-adult novel and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth won the honor of being the biggest opening for a non-sequel.

"It was the perfect storm. Having the first film in a franchise to be so gigantic is amazing. We had a great book and a great director in Gary Ross," Lionsgate president of marketing Tim Palen, whose team is credited with a sophisticated campaign, says.

It was a fortuitous opening after a long period of box office slump. The domestic box office revenues were up a whopping 78 percent from a year ago, thanks to "Hunger Games," changing the fortunes of Lionsgate. The studio will now make three more films by splitting the final book in Collins' trilogy into two movies.

"Hunger Games" didn't open as strongly as it did overseas. The film did have a solid bow of $59.3 million from 67 markets. "Hunger Games' " worldwide opening was marked at $214.3 million.

"Hunger Games" is projected to place No. 1 in virtually every foreign market, but did best in English-speaking territories, and particularly Australia, where it debuted to $6.7 million. "Hunger Games" turned in $7.5 million in the U.K., despite unseasonably warm weather, which often keeps consumers outside.

"Hunger Games" was not far behind the $158.4 million earned by "The Dark Knight" in its July 2008 debut. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" holds the record for best debut with $169.2 million in summer 2011.

Among the past films that "Hunger Games" surpassed in its opening weekend were "Spider-Man 3" ($151.1 million in 2007), "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" ($142.8 million in 2009) and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1" ($138.1 million last year).

"Hunger Games" also enjoyed strong audience approval rating. Those under the age of 25 gave the film a glowing A+ and those over 25 an A-. Tweens and teens turned out in force for the film, with 39 percent of the audience younger than 18, according to CinemaScore exit polling.

The secret to the movie's strength is that it is appealing to males as well as females, unlike the femme-heavy "Twilight" franchise, another blockbuster film property based on a young-adult book series. Males made up 39 percent of "Hunger Games' " Friday night audience.

The top ten at the nation's box offices were:

1. "The Hunger Games"
2. "21 Jump Street"
3. "The Lorax"
4. "John Carter"
5. "Act of Valor"
6. "Project X"
7. "October Baby"
8. "A Thousand Words"
9. "Journey 2: Mysterious Island"
10. "Casa De Mi Padre"

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