The Hunger Games: Catching Fire got off to a strong start last nightthe highly-anticipated sequel earned $25.25 million from shows beginning at 8 p.m. on Thursday. That's 28 percent higher than the midnight-only debut for The Hunger Games ($19.7 million).
Among "midnight" openings, it ranks seventh all-time behind the final Harry Potter movie, the last four Twilight movies, and The Dark Knight Rises.
It's tough to extrapolate too much information from this debut. Considering Catching Fire's audience isn't as rabid as that of Twilight, it should play much better throughout the weekend, and a $140 million debut is a guarantee at this point. Still, it would be surprising at this point if it matched Iron Man 3's 2013 record $174 million.
Overseas, Catching Fire is doing great business so far. Currently in 43 markets, the movie has already earned an estimated $32 million. According to Lionsgate, it's opening to more than double the original movie in most territories. This weekend, it reaches the U.K., Australia, Germany, Spain, China, South Korea, Russia and Mexico, among others.