‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ To Break $500 Million Mark At Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire broke the $500 million mark at the Thanksgiving weekend box office.

The sequel to The Hunger Games keeps breaking records with its incredible performance for the second weekend in a row.

After premiering as the best opening in the month of November, Catching Fire is not letting up and goes on to another impressive weekend at the box office.

If last weekend wasn’t good enough already, on Wednesday the much anticipated sequel brought in $20 million, followed by another first on Thanksgiving Thursday making $14.9 million.

The Lionsgate film is expected to make at least $500 million this weekend as of estimates by the end of Sunday, according to Forbes Magazine.

According to the publication, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire currently sits in 9th place in the domestic charts for 2013 and is expected to move to the 5th place after this weekend.

After adding at least $80 million in the foreign markets, the film will end up in 10th place internationally for 2013.

The incredible success of the franchise is due to a combination of factors. The increasingly loyal fan base, which has grown beyond that of the books, the brilliant marketing campaign carried on by the studio after the first Hunger Games, and the rising star of Jennifer Lawrence.

The American actress has become an icon ever since starring in the original and won an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Actress in 2012 for her performance on Silver Linings Playbook.

Jennifer Lawrence accepts Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook

Another measure of success for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the critical and fan acclaim it is receiving, making it one of biggest blockbusters of the year.

Rotten Tomatoes assigns it an 89 percent “tomatometer’ rating from its critics and a 94 percent audience likability.

The site review reads:

“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.”

Forbes notes Lawrence has grossed $1.4 billion in the past 20 months, making her one of the most popular actresses in current years.

Coupled with her personal charm and down-to-earth personality, she has turned into a fan favorite and a big box office draw.

Not many stars boast those kind of numbers and only Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man 3) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World) surpass Jennifer Lawrence at the box office for 2013.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Poster

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire have become a global phenomenon and it is still running strong on its second weekend in theaters.