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Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games is drawing top scores from moviegoers of all ages, furthering the film’s box office might.
Lionsgate’s big screen adapation of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling young adult novel — starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth — drew an A CinemaScore overall on Friday night, with those under the age of 25 giving it a glowing A+ and those over the age of 25 an A-.
Hunger Games is headed for a stellar debut, and is expected to gross as much as $70 million on Friday, putting it on course for a record-breaking debut of $135 million to $145 million (Friday’s tally includes $19.7 million in Thursday midnight grosses, the best showing ever for a non-sequel).
Part of the movie’s strength is that it is appealing to males as well as females, unlike the femme-heavy Twilight franchise, another blockbuster film property based on a young adult book series. Males made up 39 percent of Hunger Games’ Friday night audience, while females made 69 percent. It also is playing evenly in terms of age, another boost.
Hunger Games has a strong shot at cracking the top five list of all time-best openings at the domestic box office. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 currently ranks at No. 5 with a $138.1 million debut
And Hunger Games is certain to post the best opening ever for a non-sequel, as well as the best March opener of all time (Alice in Wonderland is the current record-holder with $116 million).
Hunger Games, produced by Nina Jacobson, is generating big numbers for IMAX theaters, which turned in $1.3 million in Thursday midnight grosses, the best showing for a non-sequel.
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