The Hunger Games breaks US box-office records

Dystopian action film's opening weekend is best ever for a non-sequel and third highest overall

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Predictions that The Hunger Games would be the start of a film franchise to rival Harry Potter and Twilight came true at the weekend, as the movie took an enormous $155m at the US box office.

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The fantasy action film, in which Jennifer Lawrence stars as a teenager forced to compete in a lethal reality show, scored the third-best opening weekend in history, not far behind The Dark Knight ($158m) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($169m).

Both the above films were, however, part of existing franchises. The Hunger Games, based on the 2008 international bestseller by Suzanne Collins, is the first of a series. The sequel is already planned for release in November 2013. Collins wrote three books in the Hunger Games trilogy.

By comparison, the first Twilight film grossed only $70m in its first weekend on release.

The Hunger Games, which was directed by Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) and co-stars Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks, has grossed $214m worldwide to date. It is thought to have had a production budget of around $80m.

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Read Radio Times’s review of The Hunger Games, and find local cinema listings, here.