Lionsgate's The Hunger Games made history this weekend when it opened to an astounding $155 million at the domestic box office, the third-best debut of all time and the best for any film opening outside of summer.
Hunger Games -- the big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling young-adult novel starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth -- also reeled in the biggest opening for a nonsequel.
"It was the perfect storm. Having the first film in a franchise to be so gigantic is amaing. We had a great book and a great director in Gary Ross," said Lionsgate president of marketing Tim Palen, whose team is credited with a savvy campaign.
Domestic box-office revenues were up a whopping 78% from a year ago, thanks to the might of Hunger Games, which changes the fortunes of Lionsgate and gives the studio an instant tentople franchise. Lionsgate will make three more films by splitting the final book in Collins' trilogy into two movies.
Overseas, Hunger Games turned in a more muted performance for a solid bow of $59.3 million from 67 markets. The foreign tally, which came in ahead of the international debut of the first Twilight film, puts Hunger Games' worldwide opening at $214.3 million.
More at the Hollywood Reporter.