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This week sees the release of the hotly anticipated The Hunger Games (Thursday March 22 in the USA, Friday March 23 in the UK) and, according to figures seen by The Hollywood Reporter, by Wednesday afternoon had already cranked up over $15 million in advance ticket sales in the US.
This means that the film has overtaken The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One to claim the number four spot in the list of top presales of all time. Only the two other Twilight instalments and Deathly Hallows: Part One remain ahead of it at the time of writing; this is expected to change again before Thursday’s midnight domestic opening.
Experts who have seen the figures believe that the film could gross around $130m – $140m, even though those sorts of box office numbers are rarely seen outside of the summer tentpoles. It looks to be a safe bet however, that Hunger Games will become the best March opener of all time; a record currently held by Alice in Wonderland, which took $116m on its 2010 opening weekend.
Based on Suzanne Collins’ novel, The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, and has already been hailed by critics on both sides of the Atlantic as a stellar adaptation. It certainly looks set to become one of the year’s biggest box office successes, and another record-breaking franchise.