In case anyone was doubting that The Hunger Games would dominate the weekend’s box office (our own Damon Houx predicted on Thursday that the film will be tickling the $150 million mark by the end of the weekend), the film smashed records on Thursday night by earning more money during its midnight screenings than any other non-sequel film ever (overall, it’s in seventh place of all time midnight premiere record breakers, behind three Twilight sequels and three Harry Potter sequels).

As if there was any doubt, this solidifies The Hunger Games as the new fantasy franchise that will draw in tweens, teens and adults, a la the Potter films.  And hey, it’s not Twilight, so that’s something (even if the film seems to stray too far into Battle Royale’s territory).

To give you a similar metric for success, in 2008 The Dark Knight came close to The Hunger Games’ record with a midnight gross of $18.5 million, and closed out the weekend at $158 million.  The film will likely close out Friday in the $40-$50 million mark, and by Sunday night should close out the weekend somewhere between $130 million and $150 million (Houx is shooting for a sensible guess of $145 million).

Will you be seeing The Hunger Games this weekend?

Source: Entertainment Weekly