After raking in about $20 million from midnight screenings alone, The Hunger Games was expected to do very well in its opening weekend. According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed $155 million, trouncing the second- and third-place winners (21 Jump Street scored $21.3 million and Lorax got $13.1 million). To put those numbers into context, The Hollywood Reporter says Fandango was selling 17 Hunger Games tickets per second during the weekend’s peak times.
As if that wasn’t enough for the Lionsgate film, based on the first book in the Suzanne Collins trilogy, the big box office also propelled The Hunger Games to the No. 3 spot on the list of best opening weekends, behind only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows — Part 2 and The Dark Knight. As The New York Times points out, this huge success in March shows studios that they don’t have to wait until the summer to release big tentpole movies.
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