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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Lights up the Box Office with Record Debut

catching-fire-1 Roasting the competition with the sixth highest opening weekend of all time, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire debuted to a mammoth $158.1 million, which places it just above the start of the first and a notch below The Dark Knight ($158.4 million). Claiming records that include the biggest November launch ever, Katniss and Co. has secured their franchise as one of the biggest of all time. There is much to be said of the start of this sequel, as in addition to setting records across box office history, has very promising things to say about the future prospects of the series which will debut over the next two years with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2. This launch also makes Catching Fire the biggest start ever for a film without the added help of 3D. The Avengers ($207.4 million), Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 ($169.2 million) which rank above the debut of Catching Fire, all had the aid of the premium pricing that comes with the extra dimension. The audience demographics also had interesting things to say about how the brand has evolved since the astonishing $408.0 million run of the original in 2012. Though the opening weekend in a way represented only a modest bump from the $152.5 million launch of the original (considering at least the growth of the property and rising starpower of Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence) it was the broadening of the film’s attendees and daily performance that showed potential for the forthcoming sequels (and that the opening weekend share would not be as frontloaded as the Twilight series’ entries). Catching Fire showed an even split between viewers above and under the age of 25, indicating broad interest not contained to just teenagers, as did the stats show that far more men attended than they did the first. Be it the marketing or that the mature action of the original convinced the gents that this wasn’t just for the ladies, this franchise is showing a unique response not seen among most young adult adaptations. Also encouraging was the fact that after huge Thursday night and Friday grosses (which tallied $70.9 million) the drop to Saturday wasn’t nearly as steep as comparable films, meaning that word of mouth is strong and it isn’t just avid fans rushing out at the earliest opportunity that are driving grosses. Overseas Catching Fire raked in $146.6 million, launching its global tally to a sizeable $304.7 million, on track to smash the worldwide total of the first, even if domestically it doesn’t break the quadruple century mark. Did you check out The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this weekend? What did you think? Are you as impressed as the industry is with the performance of this follow-up? Let us know in the comments below.


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