Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games opened at midnight on March 23 and already the film has grossed more than $155 million in U.S. box office sales, making it the third best domestic film debut. The film has grossed more than $214 million internationally from 67 markets, according to Box Office Mojo.
The film ranks just behind Warner Bros. films The Dark Knight (2008), with a North American opening of $158.4 million, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), which opened with $169.2 million in the U.S.
The Hunger Games also surpassed opening tallies for all of the Twilight franchise films, making it Lionsgate’s highest grossing movie ever, estimates Box Office Mojo.
ABC Family has acquired the network television premiere rights to The Hunger Games, as well as to Catching Fire, the second film in the franchise. The deal allows ABC Family to air the films exclusively beginning in 2014.
“It’s an understatement to say that we’re thrilled to add the first two films of The Hunger Games franchise to our channel line up,” says Michael Riley, president, ABC Family. “This tremendous opening weekend reinforces what we have already learned: a powerful heroine, themes of romance and iconic characters will keenly resonate with our millennial audience. This franchise will continue to enhance our network for years to come.”
Licensed merchandise programs are already underway for The Hunger Games franchise, with a full product line currently on-shelf at Toys ‘R’ Us.