Looks like Hunger Games: Catching Fire will have a record breaking box office weekend with estimates at $161 million for the four days beginning on Thursday.
The anticipation was finally met by the release of Catching Fire this past Thursday, to the delight of fans who impatiently waited for the sequel to Hunger Games for about a year.
Estimates on Sunday are that the franchise film will bring in $161.1 million at the domestic box office, which makes it the biggest opening in November and the biggest money maker for Lionsgate.
However, the numbers weren't good enough to beat another 2013 summer blockbuster, Iron Man 3's opening numbers of $174 million.
All in all Hunger Games: Catching Fire had an impressive box office showing worldwide with $307.7 million.
With these numbers, the Suzanne Collins adaptation cements its standing as one of the most successful franchises in recent years, and with two more installments to go in the next two years, it is expected to also become one of the most lucrative ones.
Some changes took place for the second chapter of The Hunger Games to put it on top of the box office and break the November record.
First, director Francis Lawrence took over from Gary Ross, who directed the original. Most importantly the budget was almost doubled this time around and coincidentally or not, the reviews were also better than for Hunger Games.
The movies site Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 89 percent Tomatometer and 94 percent of their audience say they liked it.
"Smart, smoothly directed, and enriched with a deeper exploration of the franchise's thought-provoking themes, Catching Fire proves a thoroughly compelling second installment in the Hunger Games series." reads the website's review.
Jennifer Lawrence continues to awe audiences with her talent in the role of Katniss Everdeen, who has returned home after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson.
As winners Katniss and Peeta must leave their families and friends behind and begin a victor's tour of the districts. Along the way, Katniss realizes that a rebellion is underway, however, the Capitol is in firm control and preparing for the 75th Hunger Games.
The box office results come as no surprise for Hunger Games: Cathing Fire. The books have become popular reading material for young adults and with stars such as Lawrence, Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, and Donald Sutherland, it is now wonder the movie had such an impressive opening.
Did you watch Hunger Games: Catching Fire the top movie at the box office this weekend?