Weekend Box Office: 'Hunger Games' Shatters Records, Beats 'Twilight'

The odds were certainly in "The Hunger Games"s' favor this weekend, as the new franchise had a tremendously successful start. Lionsgate's new tentpole earned a massive $155 million, smashing records for non-sequel openings.

Not only that, but the $155M domestic was also enough to place the movie third on the list of highest-grossing openings ever, right behind "The Dark Knight" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." Worldwide, "The Hunger Games" pulled in just over $214 million.

Considering the wider audience appeal (males are much more interested in "The Hunger Games" than other teen fare like the "Twilight" movies) and the positive reviews, "The Hunger Games" should have a good chance of passing the cumulative gross of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."

Clearly the marketing machine for "The Hunger Games" worked like magic, as these numbers are shocking for a non-sequel film: even Lionsgate started with cautiously optimistic predictions of $90-100 million. When "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay" hit, expect some major box office fireworks.

In second place was "21 Jump Street" with a solid $21.3 million in its second weekend, bringing its cumulative total to $71.1 million. "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" continued to roll along with $13.1 million, taking its total to $177.3M. "John Carter" placed fourth with $5 million, and "Act of Valor" overtook "Project X" with $2.1 million.

  1. "The Hunger Games" - $155 million
  2. "21 Jump Street" - $21.3 million ($71.1M)
  3. "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" - $13.1 milion ($177.3M)
  4. "John Carter" - $5 million ($62.3M)
  5. "Act of Valor" - $2.1 million ($65.9M)