'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Box Office Total Is $3 Million Shy Of Estimates

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire made a little less than box office estimates had predicted.

Although several publications noted that Francis Lawrence's follow-up to The Hunger Games made a whopping $161 million over the weekend, this figure was a little off the mark. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie's actual box office haul was around $158.1 million.

Of course, the folks at Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate have absolutely nothing to worry about. While this total is $3 million less than estimates, Catching Fire still managed to break November box office records. That's still a cause for fans and studio executives to celebrate the picture's success

The Associated Press points out that the $3 million discrepancy does affect the film's standing in the best opening weekend department. Instead of taking the number four position, the reconfigured earnings knock it down to sixth. Again, it's doubtful Lionsgate is sweating this detail too much at the moment.

The movies that currently trump The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in terms of best weekend opening are The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Dark Knight. However, a lot of these films benefited from 3D ticket prices.

Not surprisingly, the sequel is still making quite a bit of money at the box office this week. The numbers currently posted over at Box Office Mojo suggest that the flick earned an additional $12 million from moviegoers on Monday. As the Thanksgiving holiday rapidly approaches, the film's total is likely to get even bigger.

Comparatively, Catching Fire is leaving its cinematic competition in the dust this week. Thor: The Dark World managed to bring in around $1.3 million on Monday while The Best Man Holiday scraped together an additional $938,000. Respectable numbers, mind you, but they fall way short of the current box office champ.

Considering the new releases that are on-deck this week, most notably Homefront starring Jason Statham and James Franco, chances are The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will emerge victorious next weekend as well. There's currently a lack of cinematic entertainment that can match the popularity of Francis Lawrence's sequel.

Also helping the films earnings this week are strong reviews (89 percent at Rotten Tomatoes) and very good word-of-mouth. Not only does the sequel have an audience score of 94 percent at RT, enthusiastic moviegoers gave the film a CinemaScore of A. In other words, Lionsgate stands to make quite a bit more money before everything is said and done.

Did you catch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in theaters over the weekend?