‘Hunger Games’ Movie Premiere Snags $155M: Top 20 Biggest Opening Weekends Of All Time

  @cavanshays on March 25 2012 11:52 AM

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The Hunger Games Film; Photo Courtesy of Twitter

The Hunger Games reigned champion its opening weekend, snagging a whopping $155 million in ticket sales, according to an estimate by Lions Gate reported by E! News.

The first silver-screen installment of Suzanne Collins' best-selling young adult series landed itself at No. 3 of the top biggest opening weekends of all time. It also scored the top spot for biggest opening of a nonsequal. The film shattered records and blew past all of the Twilight films. 

Hunger Games got glowing reviews from critics and fans alike. On Friday night, CinemaScore revealed those under the age of 25 gave it an A+ and those over 25 an A-, reported the Hollywood Reporter. Teenagers and pre-teens made up 39 percent of the audience under the age of 18, according to CinemaScore's exit polling. The Hollywood Reporter suggested that the film's success stems from its unisex appeal. Friday night's audience consisted of 39 percent males and 61 percent white females.

The first reviews for The Hunger Games movie were in on Monday and offered overwhelming applause for the film directed by Gary Ross.

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: 'The Hunger Games' runs nearly two and a half hours in length but is the rare film that never drags and doesn't overstay its welcome. It could keep running as long as Katniss does, and we'd want to be right there every heart-pounding step of the way.

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: It's better and scarier than its source book, and aims an angry eye at our bloodthirsty, watch-anything-and-cheer culture. Neumaier gives it five out of five stars.

Manohla Dargis, The New York Times: Though Dargis critiqued the need for more grit and mystery, said the screenplay by Mr. Ross, Ms. Collins and Billy Ray hews dutifully close to its source material, at least in wide strokes.

Olly Richards, Empire Magazine: When a series has sold millions of copies, as Suzanne Collins' trilogy has, the default position is to produce something that will look just as readers imagined, to show what we were all thinking, rather than offer something nobody had considered. 'The Hunger Games' as a novel has been dissected, expanded and retooled into something intelligent, immersive and powerfully current.

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: Jennifer Lawrence is stellar in this faithful, good-enough film version of the massive best-seller... The arrow hits an outer circle of the target in The Hunger Games, an amply faithful adaptation of Suzanne Collins' monster young-adult best-seller that could have used a higher blood count in more ways than one. As she did in her breakthrough film Winter's Bone, Jennifer Lawrence anchors this futuristic and politicized elaboration of The Most Dangerous Game with impressive gravity and presence, while director Gary Ross gets enough of what matters in the book up on the screen to satisfy its legions of fans worldwide.

Check out the top 20 biggest box office opening weekends, via Box Office Mojo.  

Rank

Title

Opening

Theaters

Total Gross^

Date

1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

$169,189,427

4,375

$381,011,219

7/15/2011

2

The Dark Knight

$158,411,483

4,366

$533,345,358

7/18/2008

3

The Hunger Games

$155,000,000

4,137

$155,000,000

3/23/2012

4

Spider-Man 3

$151,116,516

4,252

$336,530,303

5/4/2007

5

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

$142,839,137

4,024

$296,623,634

11/20/2009

6

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

$138,122,261

4,061

$281,287,133

11/18/2011

7

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

$135,634,554

4,133

$423,315,812

7/7/2006

8

Iron Man 2

$128,122,480

4,380

$312,433,331

5/7/2010

9

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

$125,017,372

4,125

$295,983,305

11/19/2010

10

Shrek the Third

$121,629,270

4,122

$322,719,944

5/18/2007

11

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

$116,101,023

3,728

$334,191,110

3/5/2010

12

Spider-Man

$114,844,116

3,615

$403,706,375

5/3/2002

13

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

$114,732,820

4,362

$309,420,425

5/25/2007

14

Toy Story 3

$110,307,189

4,028

$415,004,880

6/18/2010

15

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

$108,966,307

4,234

$402,111,870

6/24/2009

16

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

$108,435,841

3,661

$380,270,577

5/19/2005

17

Shrek 2

$108,037,878

4,163

$441,226,247

5/19/2004

18

X-Men: The Last Stand

$102,750,665

3,690

$234,362,462

5/26/2006

19

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

$102,685,961

3,858

$290,013,036

11/18/2005

20

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

$100,137,835

4,260

$317,101,119

5/22/2008

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