The odds have definitely been in The Hunger Games’ favor with the 3rd highest opening weekend of all time in North America. With predictions ranging from $100 to 150 million, The Hunger Games beat even the craziest expectations with $152.5 million in 3 days, more than any other movie ever for Lionsgate. Also, The Hunger Games currently holds the highest opening weekend ever for a non-sequel.
So what else did The Hunger Games achieve last weekend? Well it had the 5th highest grossing opening day and the 4th Friday ($67.2 million), the 2nd Saturday ever ($50.3 million) and the 7th Sunday of all time ($34.8 million). This is something we just don’t see any more outside of sequels and the fact that The Hunger Games reached such heights without the help of inflated 3D tickets makes this weekend even more impressive. Actually, The Hunger Games probably sold more tickets over its opening weekend than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, although that had a $169.1 million debut, helped by 3D. Numbers aside, The Hunger Games is a great movie and it deserves the success it’s getting. With such a start to this franchise, I can’t wait to see what Catching Fire, the sequel based on the second book written by Suzanne Collins, will do at the box office. Now granted, when you begin a series as high as this, it won’t be fair to expect the exact same level of success from the sequels. Look at Harry Potter and how Chamber of Secrets made less than the first one. Back to The Hunger Games, with this opening the film could end up anywhere between $350 million and $500 million in North America, neither extremes would surprise me at this point.
Strangely enough, there were other movies out there besides The Hunger Games, one of those being our 2nd place, 21 Jump Street. With $20.4 million, the buddy comedy is now at $70.2 million after 10 days, quite a lot and it seems Sony is already working on a sequel.
In 3d place was Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax with $13.2 million and $177.4 million so far. In a month or so The Lorax should reach the $200 million milestone in North America.
John Carter falls behind even more in 4th place with $5 million for a 17 day total of $62.4 million. At this rate the $250 million sci-fi will barely reach $75 million in North America, hardly what Disney was expecting when they green lit the project.
Act of Valor rounds out the top 5 with $2 million and $65.9 million so far.