The Hunger Games Scores the Third Best Opening Weekend EVER

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by Melissa Silverstein
March 26, 2012 12:28 PM
13 Comments
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The Hunger Games broke a bunch of records with its stellar $155 million box office haul over the weekend.  It also opened in about 67 foreign markets making another $59.3 million.  I think this film will play for a while because some folks I spoke with were excited to see it and didn't want to deal with the crowd on opening weekend and have plans to see it during the week or next weekend.

Here are some of the records that broke (figures from boxofficemojo.com)

Top Midnight debut for a non-sequel - $19.74 million (7th all-time best)

Best Opening Day for a non-sequel - $68.25 million (5th all-time best)

Highest Weekend Debut for a non-sequel - $155 million (3rd all-time best)

Audience breakdown- 61% women and 56% of all attendees were over 25.  Just an FYI- 80% of Breaking Dawn's opening weekend audience were women.  So The Hunger Games played more to both genders.  And the folks at Fandango said that on opening day they were selling 17 tickets per second on the site.

This is clearly the highest grossing movie with a female lead ever made.  May this be the beginning of a great trend.

Did you see the movie this weekend?  Please share your thoughts.

‘Hunger Games’ Ticket Sales Set Record (NY Times)

Box Office Shocker: 'Hunger Games' Third-Best Opening Weekend of All Time (Hollywood Reporter)

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13 Comments

  • Sarah | December 25, 2012 10:05 PMReply

    I loved your movie. I can't wait until the other one comes out.
    Love,
    Sarah Blem

  • Will | March 27, 2012 3:38 AMReply

    Watch online Hunger Game here Hydronite.Com

  • Will | March 27, 2012 3:37 AMReply

    Being packed into the midnight premiere, the intoxication of the event was exciting. I wasn't even a huge fan of the books, but i was willing to enjoy the spectacle. 'The Hunger Games' can best be described as a good start to the trilogy. It was set up well, and did not stray too far from the novel. The action was tense, none of it was too cheesy, and Ross seemed to really understand the vision Collins applied to her novels. But the character development was largely uneven, and the combination of the run time and a viewer that has never read a sentence of the book may be a large turn off. Not always gripping, but not always a chore, the first film of the eventual saga is a solid template for the future.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/Rakehell_Obi | March 26, 2012 4:22 PMReply

    Apart from the numbers it is making, it is disgusting to see the reactions to having people of colour cast as the good guys in the film. These were supposed to be the fans who read the book, but had a cultural blindspot preventing them imagining a person of darker skin tone as the hero.

    Rue was Black in the book. Catniss was biracial in a society split clearly among the olive skinned dark straight haired and grey eyed inhabitants of the seam and the lilly white blonde hair blue eyed merchant class in District 12. The book goes out of its way to say she notices the people of her district by sight alone the same is true of District 11 where both Rue and Thresh are described as having very dark brown skin. As Racebending pointed out when they wrote a letter to Lionsgate. This is future America and future America should be at least as diverse as current America if not more so. To see a racist reaction to characters of colour being accurately portrayed from fiction is sad. Perhaps American white teens need to do a bit more growing up.

  • cy | March 26, 2012 3:18 PMReply

    I saw the movie and liked it a lot (haven't read the books, yet)

    One thing that struck me about the film was the advice given by her mentor (who won a previous Hunger Game) about the best way to survive the games.

    He was adamant that the most important thing was to somehow "get people to like you".

    Especially because that idea seems to be at the center of many girls/women's existence. And it's how they act. And it "seems" to be very good advice in our society, and, if you are a woman, it does seems to guarantee a better chance of both survival and a good life.

    But to have Katniss' character saying straight out that she never been very good at getting people to like her and then how the she turns around and achieves it by being very aggressive, i.e. shooting an arrow right past the chief gamemaker guy's head.

    So she does achieve the goal of getting people to like her, not because she flattered or tried to curry favor but through attracting attention because she was so strong and sure of herself. I think that is a concept more likely to be taught to boys/men, that is: people will like you (and then want to help you out) if you show strength.

    Of course, her basic goodness did shine through, as did her concern for others, which was probably as important. Anyway, I really enjoyed exploring the concept.

    Also, personally, I wasn't that interested in the fighting and brute survival part of the movie. I wandered out to the bathroom when they brought in the killer dogs. I don't want to be in any fight-to-the-death situation, not my thing, not much interested in Extreme-Camping, either.

    I AM on board to see the next two movies as I'm very invested in Katniss' story now. And after I see the third movie, I'll treat myself to actually reading the books.

  • Bes | March 26, 2012 3:08 PMReply

    Let's not forget that the Hunger Games story was written by a woman. Also the Twilight and Harry Potter stories were written by women. There are still very few women writers in Hollywood but that seems like a breathtakingly stupid situation given the profits women writers bring.

  • Deb | March 27, 2012 10:14 PM

    You said it sister "breathtakingly stupid". It's the only business where they would rather lose money, than give the best people a chance.

  • jmiller | March 26, 2012 2:45 PMReply

    The whole premise of this film is so distrurbing - the world watching teenagers killing each other, I feel no sense of pride at all that the lead happens to be a young female and that the film is a box office success. I find it truly depressing...We've dropped out bar for something to be proud of, to the basest of levels

  • Tony Wu | March 26, 2012 8:42 PM

    Yeah, that is the reason why Battle Royale director Fukasaku Kinj blocked it from an American release. He felt that American audiences wouldn't understand the true anti-violence message, and just see a bunch of teenagers killing each other. This is supposed to be a cautionary dystopia but you always wonder how many people out there actually think it's 'cool'.

  • scribbles | March 26, 2012 1:16 PMReply

    Saw it at a midnight showing, opening night with my daughters, all three of us big fans of the books. Happy campers, all of us. I was pleasantly surprised at the degree to which the filmmakers resisted the temptation to turn it into a Which-Hunk-Will-Katniss-Date contest. Also, the imagery and costuming for the Capitol and its residents were great -- daffy, ostentatious, malicious. I don't think Jennifer Lawrence looked like a convincing 16-year-old, but her Katniss really caught the flavor of the character in the book. The audience at our screening were pretty much mesmerized, although the theater was packed with diehard, dressed-up fans, so it would have to have been a real disaster NOT to satisfy them.

  • Jacqu | March 26, 2012 12:54 PMReply

    Here in Manila, it premiered on Wednesday (21st). Online ticket sales for the mall that my brother and I watched in was sold out a week before the premiere. The theater was packed and the movie was good. I really like Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, however while I loved Peeta in the books, Josh Hutcherson's scenes felt cut down that I didn't get the sense of humor that was always present (whether by mention or by action) in the books. The capitol people while extravagant and the details were really intricate, I wanted my expectations to be exceeded, but woefully they were just met (barely). I have many complaints, but one thing I have to comment is that the movie didn't feel long, it was just right and while there were many things I felt they omitted, I have great hopes for this franchise.

  • Courtney | March 26, 2012 12:45 PMReply

    Are those really the final numbers? I saw those figures on Sunday morning, so I was under the impression that the $155 million domestic gross didn't actually include the bulk of Sunday's ticket sales.

  • Melissa Silverstein | March 26, 2012 1:39 PM

    Those are the numbers as of now. They usually send out an update on Tuesday and it will change a bit, probably not by much. It could change if more people went on Sunday but I doubt it.

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