The Hunger Games took $214m (€160.5m) worldwide in its opening weekend and became America’s fastest-selling film that is not a sequel.
The post-apocalyptic action movie opened with a staggering $155m at US and Canadian box offices, the highest domestic opening for a movie that is not a sequel, and established what may become one of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster franchises.
Internationally, the Lions Gate Entertainment drama about an oppressive society’s teen death match added $59.3m from 67 markets for a global haul of $214.3m. It cost about $80m to make.
The massive US and Canadian debut for the film ranked as the third-highest domestic opening weekend in history behind only last summer’s Harry Potter finale and 2008 Batman movie The Dark Knight. Lions Gate said on Sunday.
The movie’s success brings the first blockbuster franchise to Lions Gate, a smaller Hollywood studio best-known previously for the Saw horror series and comedian Tyler Perry’s films.
The Hunger Games set records for highest opening of a non-sequel film and biggest debut outside the summer blockbuster season.
“The first movie in a franchise, to post a number like this, is really insane. There is no other word for it,” said Phil Contrino, editor of Boxoffice.com.
“Harry Potter had seven movies before it got to that point, and Dark Knight had years and years of building the Batman brand. This movie comes and hangs with them in the same league,” Contrino said.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 opened with $169.2m domestically over its opening weekend, while Dark Knight took in $158.4m.
The Hunger Games is an action-filled survival drama based on the first of three best-selling young adult novels by Suzanne Collins. Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, a teen girl who fights in a televised battle-to-the-death ordered by her society’s rulers.
Audiences applauded adaptation, giving the movie an “A” in polling by survey firm CinemaScore.
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