'Catching Fire' Pushes Lionsgate Past $1 Billion at U.S. Box Office

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

The company hit the domestic milestone for the second year in a row, and also earned another $1 billion-plus internationally.

For the second year in a row, Lionsgate has earned $1 billion at the domestic box office.

The studio has also earned another $1 billion-plus at the international box office for calendar 2013 to date, the company announced Monday.

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Boosted by the massive success of the second installment of Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Summit's sleeper smash Now You See Me, Lionsgate grossed an estimated $1.025 billion at the domestic box office through Sunday, Dec. 22, and another $1.227 billion at the international box office, for a worldwide box office total of approximately $2.252 billion. It ranks among the top six studios with domestic box office market share of nearly 10 percent for the year to date.

"Our strong box office performance for the second year in a row, domestically and internationally, underscores the consistency of our film slate and is a testament to the tireless efforts of our entire motion picture team," said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns in a joint statement. "We continue to do more with less, maintaining our commitment to a disciplined financial model that is focused on limiting production capital at risk."

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, has already grossed an estimated $372 million domestically, the second highest-grossing film of 2013, and $393 million internationally for a total of $765 million worldwide in its first five weeks of release. It has already outperformed the worldwide run of the first Hunger Games film ($691 million). 

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Now You See Me, which follows a group of magicians, opened as a surprise hit in September and has grossed $352 million worldwide.

Instructions Not Included, from Lionsgate's Pantelion Films, became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S. after it hit theaters in late August.

Other Lionsgate films include Ender's Game, Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, Warm Bodies and Red 2.

Internationally, Lionsgate achieved its best year ever in China, releasing six films which grossed an estimated $116.3 million at the Chinese box office for the year to date and captured approximately 8 percent of the foreign film box office market share.

E-mail: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford