'Hunger Games' Scores Record-Shattering Opening on Box Office

Jennifer Lawrence

Grossing $152 million, the novel-adapted movie marks the third biggest opening of all time, the best grossing for a non-sequel movie, as well as the top debut for a non-summer film.
"The Hunger Games" scores one of the best openings ever on the North American box office as it grosses a staggering $152 million. The astounding result marks the third biggest opening weekend of all time, trailing behind 2011's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II" with its $169.2 million and 2008's "The Dark Knight" with its $158.4 million.

The movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins' bestselling novel additionally becomes the greatest debut ever for a non-sequel title. It bests former record holder, "Alice in Wonderland", which bagged $116.1 million in 2010. The Gary Ross-directed film also scores the best opening ever for a non-summer movie.

Of the record-shattering result, Lionsgate executive president of distribution David Spitz says, "Based on the trajectory of the weekend, we are going to have an unbelievable hold." He gushes, "This film is going to play and play."

Multiple experts predict that "Hunger Games" would continue to grab between $350 million and $400 million domestically, given its strong appeal to various types of audience, including families and especially younger moviegoers. According to Lionsgate, the film's audience are split by age with 56% of them over the age of 25 and 44% of them less than 25 years old.

Former champion "21 Jump Street" lands on the runner-up spot with $20.4 million, dropping only 41% from last week. The action comedy collects a total domestic cume of $71.1 million in its second week. On the third place, there is "The Lorax" which adds $13.1 millon to its $177.3 million domestic cume. The animated film still holds the 2012 highest grosser title by far, but it will likely be eclipsed by "Hunger Games" later this week.

Walt Disney Pictures' mega-budgeted "John Carter" ends on the fourth place with $5 million, falling a steep 63% from last week. After three weeks playing in cinemas, the sci-fi pic only grosses $62.3 million domestically. Rounding up the top five is "Act of Valor" with $2 million for a total cume of $65.9 million in its fifth week.

Top Ten Movies at Box Office for March 23-25, 2012:
  1. "The Hunger Games" - $152 million
  2. "21 Jump Street" - $20.4 million
  3. "The Lorax" - $13.1 million
  4. "John Carter" - $5 million
  5. "Act of Valor" - $2 million
  6. "A Thousand Words" - $1.9 million
  7. "Project X" - $1.9 million
  8. "October Baby" - $1.6 million
  9. "Safe House" - $1.4 million
  10. "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" - $1.3 million

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