"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Hits Record-breaking Target

Photo Credit: Lionsgate
December 5th, 2013

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Hits Record-breaking Target

Fans of "The Hunger Games" are rejoicing as news of the follow-up movie, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is hitting the streets. What started out as a worrisome opening day November 22, 2013, transformed into a record-smashing opening weekend as "Catching Fire" turned in an amazing $161.1 million. But how do these figures compare to the opening weekend of the first film in the series, "The Hunger Games"? It exceeded expectations and made everyone involved in making that film the happiest people on Earth.

The weekend of November 22, 2013 was a busy one at the movie theaters, with the long-awaited "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" movie making its premier, while another popular sequel, "Thor: The Dark World," was still in the theaters. There was also a Disney movie premier this same weekend, "The Best Man Holiday." As previously stated, "Catching Fire" broke records with its box-office takings. The number two spot this weekend was "Thor: The Dark World" with $14.2 million. As for the other movies, "The Best Man Holiday" pulled in $12.5 million, and "Delivery Man" came in at a lowly $8.2 million.

The first Hunger Games movie opened in March 2012, earning $152.2 that first weekend. That's the highest amount ever earned for a non-sequel film, the best figures for a film that opened in the colder months, and the third-best film debut ever. It also made a big shoe for the next two movies in the trilogy to fill. Since optimistic forecasters projected the first film to earn significantly less money, these same forecasters started predicting higher numbers for the release of the second film in the trilogy, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." Luckily, this movie also blew the competition away, even surpassing the first Hunger Games movie numbers.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" opened on November 22, 2013. As the first day's numbers started to roll in, movie forecasters revised their figures. Many film experts questioned if the second film would even come close to the opening weekend figures of the first movie. Luckily, the Saturday and Sunday numbers showed just how much people love "The Hunger Games" books and movies. Looking worldwide, "Catching Fire" earned a hefty $307.7 million across 65 territories.

Another important piece of information to point out regarding the marvelous box office figures for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is that this is a non-3D movie and also sets a new record for this category of films, beating out The Dark Knight Rises, which made $160.8 million at the box office during its opening weekend. What makes this record-setting earnings even more amazing is that "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" did almost all this on Saturday and Sunday, with Friday's lower-than-expected figures making a lot of people very worried for a short time.

The previous record holder for November movie premiers was "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," with $142.8. And while many people try to compare the two franchises, they are two very different types of stories with vast differences in audience attendees. "Twilight" movies are geared towards mostly young women, limiting their audience and creating a ceiling to the amount of money it can earn. But, The Hunger Games franchise is very appealing to both males and females, with people from a wide range of ages enjoying the films.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is based on Suzanne Collins' young adult book series of the same name. "Catching Fire" is the second of three movies, which follows our favorite heroes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark as they find themselves contestants in The Hunger Games once again. The first time around, Katniss's younger sister was chosen to play, but Katniss volunteered for her spot to save her sister's life. The second movie picks up after Katniss and Peeta win. While touring the Districts of Panem, a rebellion breaks out and the two brave citizens end up participating in the seventy-fifth annual Hunger Games.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. Other familiar faces in this film include Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Donald Southerland as President Snow, and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. It's directed by Francis Lawrence and written by Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, and Suzanne Collins. The actors do a superb job of making a movie about kids killing kids into a hot sensation. The audience will sympathize, empathize, rejoice, and cry right along with the characters on the silver screen. No wonder why this movie broke records, it's fantastic!