‘Catching Fire’ Torches November Debut Record

'Hunger Games' Sequel Opening is 6th-Highest Ever

November 25, 2013 by

The odds were ever in its favor, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, an honorable mention for one of our most anticipated movies of the year, fell just short of edging The Dark Knight Rises and The Dark Knight for the best 2D-only opening of all time at the domestic box office over the weekend. Instead, the sci-fi literary adaptation sequel will settle for the overall sixth-highest debut ever (also trailing The Avengers, Iron Man 3, and the final Harry Potter film) and the biggest November opening ever (over the second Twilight movie). For comparison, Catching Fire‘s predecessor, The Hunger Games, enjoyed an opening feast last year with $3 million less than the sequel; that debut was the third-highest at the time.

In three days, Catching Fire has made $158.1 million stateside, nearly matching the entire total so far of back-to-back defending champ Thor: The Dark World, which in its third weekend dropped to a distant second and added another $14.2 million for a total of $167.9 million. Surprise sequel rom-com The Best Man Holiday wasn’t far behind in third place. The other wide release over the weekend, comedy remake Delivery Man, flopped at fourth place a little bit ahead of 3D computer-animated buddy comedy Free Birds in its fourth weekend.

The upcoming early holiday weekend begins Wednesday on the day before Thanksgiving, and it’s gonna be much more crowded with the releases of Disney’s 3D computer-animated family flick Frozen, thriller Homefront, musical Black Nativity, action remake Oldboy, drama Philomena, and the expansion of The Book Thief. The only movie with a shot at preventing Catching Fire to catch fire in its second weekend is Frozen.

Here are the numbers for the top five over the weekend via BOM:

  1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — Weekend Gross: $158.1 million — Total Gross: $158.1 million (new)
  2. Thor: The Dark World — Weekend Gross: $14.2 million — Total Gross: $167.9 million (#1 last week)
  3. The Best Man Holiday — Weekend Gross: $12.5 million — Total Gross: $50.4 million (#2 last week)
  4. Delivery Man — Weekend Gross: $7.9 million — Total Gross: $7.9 million (new)
  5. Free Birds — Weekend Gross: $5.4 million — Total Gross: $48.7 million (#4 last week)

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