Hunger Games: Astonishing Success

It feels as if the entire world was interested in seeing the same picture, which has been Hollywood’s dream for decades. Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” broke all records, grossing  an astonishing $214 million worldwide, of which $155 million came from th U.S.

The screen version of Suzanne Collins’ best selling book, directed by Gary Ross, is now the third-highest three-day domestic debut ever.

The film bowed in 67 day-and-date territories via local distributors, totaling $59.3 million. The film is projected to be No. 1 in virtually every market where it opened.

“Hunger Games” shattered several other notable benchmarks in North America.  The movie stands as the highest non-summer domestic opening, beating “Alice in Wonderland.”  It is also the all-time biggest debut for a non-sequel pic.


“Hunger Games” alone earned more than all films combined during the comparable 2011 frame, boosting this weekend’s overall figures up a 78%.


Many insiders questioned how high the film could reach this weekend, citing early expectations as high as $115 million to $125 million. But with unstoppable audience buzz, based on popularity for Suzanne Collins’ bestselling trilogy, coupled with positive reviews and strong word-of-mouth, “Hunger Games” managed to outstrip even the most optimistic pre-weekend tracking predictions.


“We’re now No. 3 among the top domestic openings — the first being Warner Bros. and the third, Lionsgate. That’s just mind-blowing,” enthused Lionsgate marketing topper Tim Palen. “The fact that we didn’t test the film or the trailer is a testament to Jon Feltheimer.   “He has the best gut in the business,” Palen added.


Lionsgate distribution head David Spitz pointed to the film’s minuscule 25% Friday-to-Saturday drop as a relatively unheard of achievement, especially given the film’s record-setting $19.7 million midnight take lumped into Friday’s gross. Typically, films with massive pre-release buzz that lead to hefty Thursday midnights, like the “Twilight” franchise, drop between 45% and 50% from Friday to Saturday.  “That positions us to be in the marketplace for a long time,” Spitz said.


“Hunger Games,” which received an A CinemaScore rating, drew a surprisingly robust male contingency, at 40%. That was likely boosted by a $10.6 million Imax share, since the mega-screen exhibitors caters mostly to male auds. Over-25 auds contributed 56% of the film’s opening, while 44% came from moviegoers under 25.