The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the Highest Grossing Film of 2013 in the US, Surpassing Iron Man 3’s Record

The second movie of The Hunger Games trilogy is officially the highest grossing film of 2013 in the U.S. It broke the box office record history, surpassing Iron Man 3. Catching Fire was able to earn $409.4 million in its first 49 days of release.

According to the report:

Catching Fire, which set records for the biggest November opening weekend of all time ($158.1 million) as well as the biggest three- and five-day Thanksgiving box office totals ever, has already become the 13th highest-grossing North American release in history and remains in wide release. It passed the first Hunger Games film, which grossed $408 million at the domestic box office, on Tuesday and is the fifth fastest film ever to reach the $400 million mark at the domestic box office.

The Hunger Games Receives Positive Reviews in China Despite the Current Situations in the Country

We are already surprised that Lionsgate was able to show “The Hunger Games” in China. Now, what’s more surprising is that the movie was able to receive positive reviews from Chinese reviewers. Apart from that, Yahoo said that “The Hunger Games” was able to gain 66.1 million yuan (8.2 million euros) in the box office for its first week. The Epoch Times recently collected various reviews from the movie. 

Hoping to continue its record-setting box office pace, The Hunger Games opened in China this week. The film, which combines themes from the Minotaur myth, gladiatorial combat and the devastation of war-torn Iraq, evoked strong responses from Chinese social media-goers, some of whom saw it as a valid depiction of the current Chinese political situation.

In the film, described as “the most moving and thoughtful of recent films” by a prominent Chinese television personality who highly recommended it, teenagers are forced to fight to the death as “tribute” to a failed rebellion against the “Capitol” many years before.

Opening a week after the sensitive date of “June 4,” the film includes the line “I wish I could show that they don’t own me.”

This led one online commentator going by the moniker “spider,” to remark, “How did that pass the government’s censors?”

    Having to struggle against a bloody and treacherous web of intrigue is similar to our own country, so I feel that this was no mere teen flick.

— user light blue jade

A flood of comments appeared on Chinese movie review websites.

Several praised the film and sympathized with the plight of the teens: “It has been a long time since I last cried at a movie. When Katniss shows the hand sign of farewell to the people of District 12, I took it as the poor people’s cry for injustice and unfair treatment. It was shocking to see.”

A more somber tone was taken by “colin:” “Too bad that the teens did not die, sparking a revolt against the dictatorship. Perhaps that’s also a regret existing in reality.”

According to “light blue jade:” “Having to struggle against a bloody and treacherous web of intrigue is similar to our own country, so I feel that this was no mere teen flick.”

The film makes clear the contrast between the well-off residents of the “Capitol” and the subsistence standard in the “Districts.”

Icy leaves,” in Guangdong, remarking on this, wrote: “Go see it and afterwards you’ll know that everything is controlled by politics, just like society today where those with the bucks get the respect!”

Conservative media in America viewed the film as indicating the horrors of big government that can oppress people to the point that they cannot produce and be productive.

This sentiment was echoed by “A Fan of Garfield” in Guangdong: “A searing critique of today’s cruel reality.”

Box Office Reports: The Hunger Games Earns More Thank $400 Million at North American Box Office

According to Box Office Mojo and Deadline (in separate reports), The Hunger Games is currently estimated to have brought in $400,250,000 in total domestic revenue (North America). The Hunger Games was able to get the said $400, 250, 000 in all-time domestic grosses, which makes it number 14, even ahead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Star Wars: Episode III. The film’s rank is closer to those of Spider-Man and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

The Hunger Games Earned $214 Million Globally

Read an article from Reuters on the global success of the Hunger Games.
LOS ANGELES | Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:30pm EDT
 

(Reuters) – Post-apocalyptic action movie “The Hunger Games” opened with a staggering $155 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices, the highest domestic opening for a movie that isn’t a sequel, and established what may become one of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster franchises.


Internationally, the Lions Gate Entertainment drama about an oppressive society’s teen death match added $59.3 million from 67 markets for a global haul of $214.3 million.
The massive U.S. and Canadian debut for the film ranked as the third-highest domestic opening weekend in history behind only last summer’s “Harry Potter” finale and 2008 Batman movie “The Dark Knight,” Lions Gate said on Sunday.
The movie’s success brings the first blockbuster franchise to Lions Gate, a smaller Hollywood studio best-known previously for the “Saw” horror series and comedian Tyler Perry’s films.
“Hunger Games” set records for highest opening of a non-sequel film and biggest debut outside the summer blockbuster season.
“The first movie in a franchise, to post a number like this, is really insane. There is no other word for it,” said Phil Contrino, editor of Boxoffice.com.
“‘Harry Potter’ had seven movies before it got to that point, and ‘Dark Knight’ had years and years of building the Batman brand. This movie comes and hangs with them in the same league,” Contrino said.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” opened with $169.2 million domestically over its opening weekend, while “Dark Knight” took in $158.4 million, according to Hollywood.com.
“Hunger Games” is an action-filled survival drama based on the first of three best-selling young adult novels by Suzanne Collins. Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, a teen girl who fights in a televised battle-to-the-death ordered by her society’s rulers. Everdeen becomes a beacon of hope for freedom against the totalitarian government.
Lions Gate executives got a sense of the huge appetite for “Hunger Games” when they ventured with director Gary Ross and producer Nina Jacobson to the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood late Thursday ahead of the first screenings just after midnight.
Fans packed the lobby for showings on multiple screens, with many of the book’s devotees dressed as characters. Similar scenes occurred across the country. By Saturday evening, executives went to bed thinking the film would finish the weekend with about $140 million domestically. But sales held up stronger than expected from Friday night to Saturday night, dropping just 25 percent instead of the typical 40 percent or more.
“To launch a franchise like this is incredible. It’s above and beyond our expectations,” David Spitz, executive vice president of domestic distribution for Lions Gate, said on Sunday. “We’re just going to enjoy the ride.”
Going into the weekend, industry forecasters projected about $125 million in domestic receipts from Friday through Sunday. Box-office watchers compared the movie’s drawing power to the “Twilight” vampire romance films, another franchise based on popular young adult books.
The “Hunger Games” blew past the domestic debuts for each of the first four “Twilight” films, which Lions Gate now owns after buying Summit Entertainment in January.
“Hunger Games” rung up an average of $37,467 at 4,137 domestic locations over the weekend.
Audiences applauded the film adaptation of the book, giving the movie an “A” grade on average in polling by survey firm CinemaScore.
“Hunger Games” appealed to more adults and more males than “Twilight,” which banked a large chunk of its receipts from teenage girls, Contrino said. Fifty-six percent of the “Hunger Games” audience was over age 25, and 39 percent was male.
The movie cost about $80 million to produce after tax credits. The studio pre-sold distribution rights in foreign markets other than Britain to cut its cost to about $30 million. That reduced the risk but also limited the money Lions Gate will get from overseas sales.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING DRIVE
To reach the film’s core audience of younger viewers, the movie’s $45 million marketing budget made aggressive use of the Internet, including a game on Facebook, YouTube videos and a blog on the site Tumblr dedicated to the film’s fashion.
Anticipation built among fans and on Wall Street, where Lions Gate shares jumped nearly 33 percent in the six weeks leading up to the film’s Friday opening. Shares rose from $10.95 on February 8 to $14.53 on March 23.
The company’s stock likely will see another boost on Monday following the “Hunger Games” performance, Piper Jaffray analyst James Marsh said. “Clearly it’s much better than people thought” and bodes well for future films in the series, said Marsh, who has a $20 12-month price target on Lions Gate shares.
“Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire” is set to reach theaters in November 2013.
Toy companies also are trying to score big off the movie. Teen retailer Hot Topic Inc said last week it had sold out some “Hunger Games” merchandise. Hasbro Inc and Mattel Inc also have licenses to market toys based on “Hunger Games.”
To win the rights to make the film, Lions Gate beat out bigger and better funded rivals with personal appeals to Collins beginning in 2009.
At the same time, Lions Gate was simultaneously fending off investor Carl Icahn, who took a 33 percent stake in Lions Gate and launched an unsuccessful proxy fight to elect five board members to the studio’s board of directors.
Icahn bailed out on Lions Gate in August 2011, selling his 44 million shares for $7 apiece and losing out on a $331 million profit based on Lions Gate’s closing stock price on Friday.
Elsewhere this weekend, “Hunger Games” had little competition at the domestic box office. No other new movies were released nationwide.
Comedy “21 Jump Street” took second place for the weekend with $21.3 million, and animated “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” finished third with $13.1 million.
Rounding out the top five, Disney sci-fi adventure “John Carter” pulled in $5.0 million, and military drama “Act of Valor” grossed $2.1 million.
The movie division of Sony Corp released “21 Jump Street.” Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures distributed “The Lorax.” “John Carter” was released by Walt Disney Co. Privately held Relativity Media distributed “Act of Valor” in the United States, and Alliance Films released the movie in Canada.
(Editing by Eric Walsh, Stacey Joyce and Ronald Grover)