Opening a week before Thanksgiving, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire might clear $300 Million in ten days. That’s the hope anyway, it’s going to be a biggun regardless. The record for a three day opening is currently held by The Avengers, which made over $200 Million, and had the benefit of 3D and Imax (whereas this just has Imax). But that’s the playing field for this movie.

So how big? At the end of the day, who cares, Lionsgate won with this series, and they’re going to be looking at a $400 Million domestic cume or more for the sequel, and hopefully a bigger international audience for the series. The Hunger Games made $408 Million stateside and $283 Million internationally. The international figure is in no way a bad number, but they would be happier if the follow up generated as much if not more interest abroad. If that’s the case, they could clear a billion dollars with this title, and will continue to make the sequels they announced shortly after the first film hit.

What’s fascinating here is how they obviously found the right material and performers, as young adult fiction is a tricky market to navigate. Then again, so many of the YA misfires come across like sacrificial lambs. Did anyone expect The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones to be the next Twilight? Did anyone think The Host would do anything but flounder? Lionsgate pumped their marketing guns on this one before a frame was shot, announcing the cast like each casting was an event and playing it up on MTV and the like. They worked it and it paid off spectacularly.

Oh, and Delivery Man opens this weekend.

So let’s do this:

  1. The Hunger Games 2 – $195 Million
  2. Thor 2 – $16.7 Million
  3. The Best Man Holiday – $16.5 Million
  4. Delivery Man – $12.5 Million

Catching Fire could go as low as $160 Million, but let’s be bold and suggest that it’s got the fever. Delivery Man, maybe they marketed it better than I’m guessing and it breaks through. Or maybe it’s an even bigger bomb than it looks. We’ll find out Sunday.

What are you going to watch this weekend?