If the early ticket sales are any indication, “Catching Fire” might be an appropriate description of what’s currently happening at box offices around the world.
The newest “Hunger Games” movie starring Jennifer Lawrence has taken in $25.25 million already, according to Deadline, and that’s just from the early screenings after 8 p.m. on Thursday.
If it keeps that pace, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” could even take down the all-time record-holder for November, its young-adult predecessor “Twilight,” which currently holds the record with “New Moon.” To top Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, Katniss Everdeen is going to have to clear $142.8 million this weekend, something that both Deadline and Box Office Mojo are predicting. The former even suggests that the sequel could earn anywhere from $160 million to $180 million, potentially knocking “Iron Man 3″ ($174 million) out as the biggest opening weekend of the year.
“Catching Fire” will certainly outpace the first installment in the series from last year. “The Hunger Games” earned $152.5 million in March 2012, eventually becoming the third highest grossing movie of the year, behind “Marvel’s The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises” and ahead of “Skyfall.” The time around IMAX is playing a much bigger role in the release with ticket sales for screening in the larger format up 75 percent from the first film.
Even after opening weekend, the odds are remaining in “Catching Fire’s” favor because analysts are also predicting a large holiday bump in ticket sales thanks to the approaching Thanksgiving weekend.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is now out in theaters, and work begins soon on the two-part follow-up. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″ opens on November 21, 2014, and “Part 2″ is set for November 20, 2015.