Let's talk weekend box office numbers for The Hunger Games, shall we....The film broke all sorts of records--and had no problem beating every film in The Twilight film series released thus far...
Pamela McClintock of THR:
Making history, Lionsgate's The Hunger Games opened to an astounding $155 million at the domestic box office, the third best debut of all time and the best for any film opening outside of summer.
Hunger Games -- the big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling young-adult novel starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth -- also reeled in the biggest opening for a nonsequel.
The Gary Ross-directed tentpole came in not far behind the $158.4 million earned by The Dark Knight in its July 2008 debut. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 holds the record for best debut with $169.2 million in summer 2011.
Among the past films that Hunger Games surpassed in its opening weekend were Spider-Man 3 ($151.1 million in 2007), The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($142.8 million in 2009) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 ($138.1 million last year).
Hunger Games drew an A CinemaScore overall on Friday night, with those under the age of 25 giving it a glowing A+ and those over 25 an A-. Tweens and teens turned out in force for the film, with 39 percent of the audience younger than 18, according to CinemaScore exit polling.
Part of the movie's strength is that it is appealing to males as well as females, unlike the femme-heavy Twilight franchise, another blockbuster film property based on a young-adult book series. Males made up 39 percent of Hunger Games' Friday night audience.
"The numbers just kept growing and growing. And based on the trajectory of the weekend, we are going to have an unbelievable hold. We are going to play and play," Lionsgate executive vice president of distribution David Spitz said. "I think that when we initially looked at this property, we thought we were going to have Twilight numbers in terms of females, but we didn't."
Hunger Games also played like a family film, evidenced by its strong Friday to Saturday hold. The film fell a narrow 25 percent, while the Twilight and Harry Potter films fall anywhere from 44 percent to 60 percent.
According to CinemaScore, 49 percent of those showing up to see Hunger Games were under the age of 25; Lionsgate's exit polling showed that 44 percent were under the age of 25.
Hunger Games played in a total of 4,137 theaters at the domestic box office, including 268 IMAX theaters, which turned in a hefty $10.6 milion for a per screen average of $40,000, a record for a 2D nonsequel.
Produced by Nina Jacobson, Hunger Games gives Lionsgate its first tentpole franchise and is a monumental victory for the studio, which is in the process of merging with Summit Entertainment, home of the Twilight franchise.
Elsewhere at the domestic box office, Sony and MGM's Jonah Hill-Channing Tatum comedy 21 Jump Street stayed strong its opening weekend despite Hunger Games. The R-rated pic fell 41 percent to $21.3 million, putting its domestic cume at a handy $71.1 million.
Universal and Illumination's Dr. Seuss' The Lorax came in No. 3 after Hunger Games and 21 Jump Street, grossing $13.1 million in its fourth weekend for an enviable domestic gross of $177.3 million
Other notable Hunger Games movie headlines from the weekend:
-Foreign Box Office: 'Hunger Games' Opens No. 1 Abroad in Unspectacular Fashion, Drawing $59.3 Million
-Box Office Monster 'Hunger Games' Likely Headed for $350 Mil Domestic Run
-Fandango Sold 17 'Hunger Games' Tickets Per Second at Peak Periods on Opening Day
-'Hunger Games' Moviegoers React On Twitter With Gleeful Praise, Hyperbole and Confusion
-Also Not Too Shabby: Specialty Box Office: Indonesian Pic 'The Raid: Redemption' Opens to Strong Numbers
Weekend Domestic Box Office Top 10:
1. The Hunger Games, 1/4,137, Lionsgate, $155 million.
2. Jump Street, 2/3,121, Sony/MGM, $21.3 million, $71.1 million.
3. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, 4/3,677, Universal/Illumination, $13.1 million, $177.3 million.
4. John Carter, 3/3,212, Disney, $5 million, $62.3 million.
5. Act of Valor, 5/2,216, Relativity/Bandito Brothers, $2.1 million, $65.9 million.
6. Project X, 4/2,068, Warner Bros., $1.95 million, $51.8 million.
7. A Thousand Words, 3/1,787, Paramount/DreamWorks, $1.93 million, $14.9 million.
8. Safe House, 7/1,330, Universal, $1.39 million, $122.6 million.
9. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, 7/1,340, New Line/Warner Bros., $1.37 million, $97.2 million.
10. Casa de Mi Padre, 2/478, Lionsgate, $1.1 million, $3.9 million.
Better get to work on those Hunger Games sequels.....
Next: The first shots will be fired in the battle for Snow White Movie Supremacy between Mirror Mirror--out March 30th and Snow White and the Huntsman out June 1st; You will feel the Wrath of the Titans as their war continues....