The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has opened huge, smashing the figures of the first film, and has achieved the fourth highest weekend opening of all time.
The film was predicted to gross $140 million in the US on its opening weekend, just shy of The Hunger Games US opening of $146 million in 2011. However, Saturday really picked up for the sequel, and the film ended the weekend with a whopping $161.1 million, the best ever opening for a film in November, and the best opening ever for Lionsgate.
Catching Fire eclipsed all the three Twilight sequels, which all opened in November (all three opened between $138.1 and $142.8 million). The sequel, directed by Francis Lawrence, has become the fourth biggest opener of all time. Holding the record currently is The Avengers which opened with $207 million in the US, followed by Iron Man 3 with $174 million, and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 with $169 million.
The film opened in top place in the US, and did the same around the world. Opening in 65 territories all over the world, the sequels massive worldwide gross on its first weekend was $307.7 million, the 12th biggest worldwide opening ever. That’s 45% better than the $211.8 million worldwide that The Hunger Games grossed in its opening weekend. That puts the film halfway to matching the $286.3 million international gross of that original film. It opened in the top spot in nearly all markets, more than doubling The Hunger Games in most markets according to Rentrak. Germany and Denmark tripled their opening weekend numbers while UK, Netherlands and Sweden were 2.5 times better. Russia was 1.5 times better than the original’s opening.
“When you take a look at the blockbusters released around this time, the ‘Harry Potters’ and ‘Twilights,’ the one thing that is different with this film is our Saturday increase,” said Lionsgate distribution exec David Spitz. “To us, that is a direct illustration of how well the film is playing.”
You can read Doc’s review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire here
The US top ten:
1. (-) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – $161,125,000
2. (1) Thor: The Dark World – $14,117,000
3. (2) The Best Man Holiday – $12,522,000
4. (-) Delivery Man – $8,215,000
5. (4) Free Birds – $5,300,000
6. (3) Last Vegas – $4,400,000
7. (5) Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – $3,450,000
8. (6) Gravity – $3,305,000
9. (8) 12 Years a Slave – $2,800,000
10. (-) Dallas Buyers Club – $2,770,000
Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lynn Cohen, Patrick St. Esprit, Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Maria Howell, Sam Claflin all star.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released in cinemas across the UK on 21st November 2013.