Box office estimates are out for the weekend ending March 25th, and The Hunger Games certainly lived up to all the hype surrounding the feature in the weeks leading up to its theatrical release. The movie grossed an unbelievable $155 million–a number that is good enough to rank third among the all-time leaders in the record books behind only The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.
Making things a bit more interesting is that number only achieved the benefit of IMAX showings as The Hunger Games was not a 3D release like the final Harry Potter movie. That particular film remains the record holder for largest opening weekend ever with $169 million, but without the premium from the format, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II would have debuted to only $150 million. That means The Dark Knight’s $158.4 million might have been the number that the Jennifer Lawrence-lead feature needed to pass in order to become the undisputed champion of box office openings.
For those of you wondering why Lionsgate passed on 3D, it is because series director Gary Ross did not find the technology organic to The Hunger Games franchise. That decision was made before the movie delivered such amazing box office grosses, so perhaps the studio might intervene via the ever so popular post-production conversion at a later date for re-release purposes.
Midnight, Day, and Opening Weekend for a Non-Sequel/New Franchise
Midnight, Day, and Opening Weekend for the Month of March
Update 3/26: Actuals are showing the film at $152.5 million after $35 million Sunday.