Move over Star Wars, Harry Potter, and even Twilight (gasp): there’s a new record breaking film franchise in town! The first installment of The Hunger Games series opened this weekend to rapturous reviews and once-in-a-lifetime sales figures. When we broke down the numbers last week, the film was expected to pull in the still-huge amount of $125 million. But the saga ended up breaking records for a springtime opening, taking in an incredible $155 million in North America alone over the weekend. When you factor in the $59.25 million it took in overseas, that brings the total to a staggering $214 million! Not bad for an $80 million dollar price tag.
The spring record was previously held by Tim Burton’s 3-D reboot of Alice In Wonderland back in 2010, which clocked in at $119 million for its first weekend. But those figures could be considered a little inflated when you consider that ticket prices for a 3-D movie are higher than one in plain old cinemascope, which makes The Hunger Games performance over the weekend even more remarkable.
It was seen by some a risky move to open the series in March, instead of saving it for the more traditional blockbuster seasons of the summer and December. But obviously those people underestimated the draw of the Games. “If a movie looks intriguing, customers will show up, no matter what the calendar reads,” BoxOffice.com editor Phil Contrino told The New York Times. It also proves that with Harry Potter already history, and Twilight heading towards its November finale, THG will certainly pick up the slack as the next massive movie franchise. Let the games begin! And speaking of games, don’t forget to check out our FAB Life of Panem Superfan Giveaway!