The odds are most certainly in the favour of Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and their Catching Fire cast. The sequel to 2012’s box office hit The Hunger Games has smashed its predecessor’s takings, grossing $161.1m (£99.4m) at the US box office in its opening weekend.
The huge figure makes Catching Fire the biggest November opening of all time, beating the likes of The Twilight Saga: New Moon which took £88.2m ($142.9m) in 2009.
Only three films to date have topped the follow-up’s stats – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part II, The Avengers and Iron Man 3 – with Catching Fire just falling short of the latter’s debut of £107.4m ($174.1m).
The weekend’s figures easily overtake the first film which opened in the States at £93.8m ($152.m) back in March 2012. The Hunger Games went on to gross a total of £426.4m ($691.2m) worldwide, a figure Catching Fire is likely to surpass during its domestic and global run.
This weekend’s opener – which also stars Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Donald Sutherland – took impressive figures overseas, too, landing number ones in virtually all its international territories.
The UK had the top overseas debut with £12.2m ($19.8m), part of the £90.4m ($146.6m) takings worldwide.
Catching Fire is the second of four films to be made from Suzanne Collins’ dystopian trilogy.
In case you have been living in an Igloo for the past three years you probably don’t need telling that it follows Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) as she is sent to compete in the annual Hunger Games tournament – a fight to the death between 24 teenage tributes on live television.