Those wondering whether The Hunger Games could put up Twilight numbers … well, what if we told you The Hunger Games put up better numbers than any of the Twilight movies so far? Early predictions had the hotly-anticipated film finishing its opening weekend with somewhere between $ 90 and $ 110 million, but The Hunger Games surprised with a whopping $ 155 million, giving it the third best opening of all time behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($ 169 million) and The Dark Knight ($ 158 million). That gives Lionsgate its best opening ever as a studio, and a fantastic start for what is now officially Hollywood’s next monster franchise.
The Hunger Games took in $ 68 million on Friday, $ 51 million on Saturday and $ 36 million on Sunday, and while these are just early estimates and the final number is likely to change a drop, it’s still a significant accomplishment and immediately grants its starring trio — Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth — an express ticket to superstardom.
Meanwhile, 21 Jump Street remained strong in its second weekend, pulling in $ 20 million in its second week of release. The Lorax finished third with $ 13.1 million, while John Carter continued its painful nose dive at the box office, finishing with just $ 5 million in only its third week of release. The weekend’s other big success story was The Raid: Redemption, which followed up its ridiculously-buzzed festival run with $ 220,937 in only 14 locations, giving it a huge $ 15,781 per theater average. The foreign action film, which is staging a English-language remake as we speak, will expand to additional theaters next weekend, and could be on its way to becoming one of this year’s biggest success stories.