As our own Damon Houx noted on Thursday, film adaptations of Young Adult novels are a tricky thing. For every Young Adult franchise that manages to have just the right combination of stars, storyline, and direction (Twilight, inexplicably), there are a handful of clunkers that simply can’t catch the zeitgeist (The Mortal Instruments, The Host). The first Hunger Games, though, was decidedly in the former camp, scoring just over $400 million in domestic box office. And with a compelling story, a host of stars (including critical and commercial darling Jennifer Lawrence), and a fervent fanbase, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is set for a box office dominion—which is how the film was able to gross $25.3 million in Thursday night preview screenings alone.
As Coming Soon notes, this was a 28% jump from the original Hunger Games’ preview screenings, though Catching Fire did have more screenings and a much higher anticipation level. Still, $25 million in Thursday night screenings is nothing to frown at, and as Mr. Houx noted, Catching Fire has a shot at a $195 million opening—and has already made $32 million internationally. Not bad for a franchise that’s a kinda-sorta rip-off of Battle Royale.
Will you be seeing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this weekend?