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The Hunger Games takes record $155 million in opening weekend

The film had the third-highest grossing opening weekend ever behind behind last year’s Harry Potter finale and The Dark Knight.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in a scene from The Hunger Games
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in a scene from The Hunger Games
Image: The Associated Press

THE HUNGER GAMES has made over $155 million (€116 million) in its opening weekend in America, setting a new record in the process.

The huge haul marks the third-highest debut ever behind the $169.2 million opening for last year’s Harry Potter finale and the $158.4 million opening of 2008′s The Dark Knight.

Harry Potter and Batman were well-established franchises.  The Hunger Games set a revenue record for a non-sequel, taking in more than twice what the first Twilight movie did with its $69.6 million opening weekend.

While it’s already a blockbuster on its North American home turf, The Hunger Games had a much slower start on this side of the Atlantic. The film took in a modest $59.3 million in 67 markets, including Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia and Australia.

It also was by far the biggest start for a film opening outside the busy summer and holiday seasons in America.

According to studio estimates, The Hunger Games came in nearly $40 million ahead of the previous March record-holder, 2010′s “Alice in Wonderland” at $116.1 million.

The Hunger Games slid into the No. 3 spot on the domestic revenue chart ahead of “Spider-Man 3,” which opened with $151.1 million in 2007.

With a broader fan base than the Twilight franchise, The Hunger Games pulled in bigger crowds than the top-grossing installment of that series.

Women and girls have made up as much as 80 percent of the audience for the “Twilight” flicks. Though it features a female lead, The Hunger Games drew more balanced crowds, with girls and women accounting for 61 per cent of audiences, according to distributor Lionsgate.

Despite its teen fan base, The Hunger Games also did well among older moviegoers. Fans 25 and older made up 56 percent of the crowds.

The film is based on the first novel in the best-selling trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Lionsgate plans to release part two, Catching Fire, in November 2013, and hopes to do the finale,  Mockingjay, as a two-part film installment.

The Hunger Games sets record with US box office opening >

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Associated Press

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