(NYTIMES) — “The Hunger Games” hit the box-office bull’s-eye over the weekend, taking in a record $155 million in North America and setting up what promises to be one of the biggest film franchises of this decade.
Backed by a meticulously executed marketing campaign from Lionsgate, “The Hunger Games” was a gigantic No. 1 and set multiple sales records, including the biggest opening weekend total for a spring release, not accounting for inflation. The previous record holder, “Alice in Wonderland,” directed by Tim Burton, took in $116.1 million over its first three days in March 2010 and went on to surpass $1 billion in ticket sales at the global box office.
Nobody is predicting that kind of worldwide total for “The Hunger Games,” partly because, unlike “Alice in Wonderland,” it was not made available in 3-D, which costs $3 to $5 more per ticket to see. But “The Hunger Games” could easily take in $500 million to $700 million, depending on overseas interest, box-office analysts said. Lionsgate said international ticket sales for the weekend were estimated at $59.3 million.