Weekend Report: 'The Hunger Games' Devours $152.5 Million
The odds were definitely in The Hunger Games favor this weekend: the big screen adaptation of the immensely popular young adult novel opened to an enormous $152.5 million, which ranks third all-time behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169.2 million) and The Dark Knight ($158.4 million). Remarkably, it debuted above all of the Twilight movies, and it also topped Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million) for highest debut ever for a non-sequel.

Among all the impressive Hunger Games statistics, two lesser-discussed ones are worth highlighting. First, the movie had an incredible hold on Saturday—it only fell 25 percent to $50.4 million, which ranks behind Spider-Man 3 ($51.3 million). This suggests that demand for The Hunger Games exists across a wide array of moviegoers, and isn't just rooted in the type of rabid fans that drove the front-loaded openings for recent Harry Potter and Twilight movies.

The other crazy statistic is one that should result in a noteworthy spike in champagne sales in Santa Monica, California this week—after just over two days in theaters, The Hunger Games has already passed Fahrenheit 9/11 ($119.2 million) to become Lionsgate's highest-grossing movie ever.

Knowing that they had something special on their hands, the company went all-in with one of their most expensive productions ever (just under $80 million after tax rebates). Lionsgate followed that up with a nicely targeted marketing effort that consistently built up anticipation until it reached a fevered level over the past month. Aside from just reaching out to fans of the book, though, they went a step further by clearly outlining the high stakes and making the movie seem accessible and interesting to a broad range of potential moviegoers.

While a majority of the audience for The Hunger Games were women (61 percent), the fact that it did have some appeal to men as well surely helped it get as high as it did. In comparison, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1's crowd was 80 percent female. The Hunger Games audience also skewed slightly older (56 percent were 25 years of age and up), and they awarded the movie a strong "A" CinemaScore.

On 268 IMAX screens, The Hunger Games grossed $10.2 million this weekend. That's roughly $38,000 per screen, which is a very impressive figure for a 2D movie that doesn't include any footage shot in IMAX.

Thanks to the mammoth movie in first place, the Top 12 earned $203.8 million this weekend. That's the ninth-highest aggregated weekend ever, and first all-time in the month of March.

While The Hunger Games was obviously the biggest draw this weekend, there were other movies in theaters as well. 21 Jump Street took second place with $20.5 million, which is off 44 percent from last weekend. Through 10 days in theaters, the movie has earned $70.2 million, which is a bit ahead of Jonah Hill's Superbad through the same point.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax dipped 42 percent to $13.2 million in its fourth weekend in theaters. With a total of $177.4 million, it's now lagging behind Despicable Me by $13 million; regardless, it still looks like a lock to close with over $200 million.

This may have been the weekend where John Carter officially transitioned from domestic disappointment to disaster. The movie plummeted 63 percent to $5.1 million, bringing its 17-day total to just $62.4 million (or less than The Hunger Games made on opening day). It is playing better overseas, but it's still not at the levels needed to really ease the pain over at the Mouse House.

Act of Valor rounded out the Top Five this weekend with $2.04 million. The combat flick, which features active-duty Navy SEALs, has earned a very solid $65.9 million so far.

Abortion drama October Baby opened in 390 locations and wound up in eighth place with an estimated $1.7 million. Further down the chart, Indonesian action movie The Raid: Redemption scored $213,785 from 14 locations for a solid per-theater average of $15,270.

Last Weekend

Audiences Report to '21 Jump Street'

This Weekend in Past Years:

• 2011 - 'Wimpy Kid' Blindsides 'Sucker Punch'
• 2010 - 'Dragon' Takes Flight,' 'Hot Tub' Gets Soaked

• 2009 - 'Monsters,' 'Haunting' Scare Up Big Business

• 2008 - 'Horton' Hatches Easter Win

• 2007 - 'TMNT' Sees Green on Crowded Weekend

• 2006 - 'Inside Man' Takes the Bank

• 2005 - 'Guess Who' Dines at Top Spot

Related Charts

Weekend Box Office Results

All-Time Domestic