Weekend Box Office: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Claims November Record with $161.1 Million

by     Posted 282 days ago

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire surprised no one by setting a new record for a November opening.  Earning an estimated $161.1 million from 4,136 locations, the high-profile sequel easily topped the previous record of $142.8 million, set by The Twilight Saga: New Moon in 2009.  Perhaps more significantly, Catching Fire also managed to place fourth on the list of all-time domestic debuts, putting it ahead of both The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

Here is what the top ten looks like, as of this morning:

Title Opening
1. Marvel’s The Avengers $207.4
2. Iron Man 3 $174.1
3. Harry Potter Deathly Hallows 2 $169.1
4. Catching Fire $161.1
5. The Dark Knight Rises $160.8
6. The Dark Knight $158.4
7. The Hunger Games $152.5
8. Spider-Man 3 $151.1
9. Twilight Saga: New Moon $142.8
10. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 $141

Analysis and this weekend’s top ten after the jump.

TOP 5: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, OUT OF THE FURNACE Set Visit, Nolan Straps an IMAX Camera to a Learjet, DELIVERY MAN, NYMPHOMANIAC Trailer

by     Posted 283 days ago

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Like many others I presume, I can reduce my yesterday down to one common denominator: waiting. Waiting for my Xbox One to arrive in the mail, waiting for the “Day One” update to wrap-up, waiting for Call of Duty: Ghosts to install to my hard drive, waiting for Ghosts‘ mandatory 1Gb update to complete. All told, it was about a two and a half hour process from the time my console arrived at my door until I was able to fire my first virtual shot. Although I’d be lying if I said the delays weren’t tedious, at the end of the day it was absolutely worth it. Microsoft’s next-gen console isn’t perfect, but its ambition and by-and-large its initial execution are pretty damn impressive. Controlling the console via voice commands with Kinect is way smoother than I expected it to be. Directing my satellite television via the console is a feature that I believe, when mastered, I’ll wonder how I ever lived without. And that seems to be the general idea of the Xbox One: to make you reconsider what a video game console can and should do. Even if all of the pieces aren’t in place yet to make it a “must have” (I expect a steady barrage of software updates in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.), I’m having too much fun with it right now to care.

My initial Xbox One impressions aside, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and more, Dave’s Out of the Furnace set visit recap, Christopher Nolan strapping an IMAX camera to a Learjet for Interstellar, Delivery Man interviews with Vince Vaughn and more, and a new trailer for Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac that you’ll likely only feel halfway guilty for watching. Per the drill, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

Donald Sutherland Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Why It’s So Popular, Collaborating with Francis Lawrence, and More

by     Posted 283 days ago

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Now playing in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger GamesCatching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Liam HemsworthJosh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Donald Sutherland.  He talked about what makes The Hunger Games so popular around the world, what it was like collaborating with Francis Lawrence, deleted scenes, what he collects, the way he prepares for a role, future projects, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Friday Box Office: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Earns $70.5 Million on Opening Day

by     Posted 283 days ago

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On its first day in 4,136 locations, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire took in an estimated $70.5 million, including $25.25 million from its Thursday night previews.  That is higher than the $67.2 million The Hunger Games earned from its opening in March 2012 as well as the $68.8 million of Iron Man 3.  For weeks, those two films have guided weekend projections for Catching Fire, with the sequel expected to land somewhere between the $152.5 million of its predecessor and the $176.1 million of IM3.

This morning, however, expectations have been scaled back a bit.  Catching Fire is now targeting a more modest $152 million through Sunday, or about $15 million less than originally expected.  Of course, anything above $142.8 million would still be enough to strip The Twilight Saga: New Moon of its record for the biggest November opening of all time.  But, considering that it has been an article of faith that the sequel would top its predecessor, the fact that that is now in doubt qualifies as a surprise.  Check back tomorrow to see how it all plays out.

Lenny Kravitz & Elizabeth Banks Talk THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Why It’s So Popular, the Costumes, Collaborating with Francis Lawrence, More

by     Posted 284 days ago

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Now playing in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger GamesCatching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Liam HemsworthJosh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Claflin and Malone.  They talked about what makes The Hunger Games so popular around the world, the costumes, what it was like collaborating with Francis Lawrence, deleted scenes, and much more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Rakes in $25.2 Million on Opening Night; Could Hit More than $160 Million Opening Weekend

by     Posted 284 days ago

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There was no question The Hunger Games: Catching Fire would be a big hit.  The only question was how big since it didn’t have a 3D boost, but it did have IMAX.  Variety reports the highly-anticipated and well-reviewed sequel earned $25.2 million from domestic opening night screenings, and is now on track for a $160 million weekend.  If it surpasses that number it will break the record for biggest opening weekend for a 2D movie (a record currently held by The Dark Knight Rises, which opened to $160.9 million).  If Catching Fire sticks to analyst predictions, it should handily take the record for biggest November opening, which currently belongs to The Twilight Saga: New Moon.  That’s what happens when your movie has crossover appeal.

While 2012′s The Hunger Games has the record for biggest opening weekend in March ($152 million), it looks like the Thanksgiving weekend will be a comfortable home for the franchise for the next couple of years.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is set for November 21, 2014 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is due out on November 20, 2015.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Review

by     Posted 285 days ago

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Early in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the villainous President Snow (Donald Sutherland) reminds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) that the Hunger Games were just a game.  Her real fear should be a war that will rain down hell on all of the districts if she continues to be a symbol to the downtrodden.  To both its credit and its detriment, Francis Lawrence‘s sequel shares those values.  The fear and excitement has left the arena and spread to the streets, and returning to a different arena almost feels safe by comparison.  The adaptation is a slight improvement on the book (mostly by avoiding author Suzanne Collins‘ poor prose and stilted dialogue), but also has the same structural weakness of taking the characters to familiar confines albeit with different players and hazards.  Nevertheless, the central core of the story remains strong and skillfully eschews the traditional heroine in favor of a scared puppet who can only summon her strength in certain situations.  It’s a confined character that can’t take full advantage of its actress’ immense talent, but as the movie reminds us, sometimes sacrifice is necessary for the greater good.

Sam Claflin & Jena Malone Talk THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Why It’s So Popular, Expanding the World and Characters in the Sequel, and More

by     Posted 285 days ago

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Opening this weekend in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger GamesCatching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Liam HemsworthJosh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Claflin and Malone.  They talked about what makes The Hunger Games so popular around the world, how Catching Fire expands the world and the characters, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Francis Lawrence Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Inheriting the Cast, Deleted Scenes, MOCKINGJAY Parts 1 and 2, and More

by     Posted 287 days ago

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Opening this weekend in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger GamesCatching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Liam HemsworthJosh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Lawrence. He talked about inheriting the cast that Gary Ross assembled, whether he was nervous about making Catching Fire, the length of his assembly cut, deleted scenes, and the shooting schedule for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 (he reveals they’ve already shot five weeks on the sequels).  Hit the jump to watch.

Sesame Street Takes on THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE with THE HUNGRY GAMES: CATCHING FUR

by     Posted 288 days ago

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If you think The Hunger Games: Catching Fire might be a bit too violent for the young children in your family, perhaps the Sesame Street version would be more their speed.  Spoofing the upcoming action sequel, the educational TV show has put together a five-minute short that entertains fans of the book series (and puns in general), while taking some time to teach kids about pattern recognition.

Opening this weekend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.  Crumby Pictures’ The Hungry Games: Catching Fur stars Cookie Monster as Cookiness Evereat.  Who turns in the best performance?  Hit the jump to find out.

Liam Hemsworth & Woody Harrelson Talk THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Why It’s So Popular Around the World, What They Collect, and More

by     Posted 290 days ago

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Opening on November 22nd in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Liam Hemsworth, Josh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Hemsworth and Harrelson.  They talked about what makes The Hunger Games so popular around the world, deleted scenes, what they collect, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE – New TV Spot and Clip

by     Posted 292 days ago

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is only a week away from opening stateside, so if you’re not already planning on going, there’s not much we can do to convince you at this point.  Perhaps the newly released clip and TV spot will help sway you if you’re on the fence.  Both spots give a nice look at the style, tone and level of action in the film, which continues the feel of the original while bumping everything up a notch.

Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, Donald Sutherland, and Amanda Plummer.  Hit the jump to watch the latest TV spot and clip for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which opens November 22nd.

Jennifer Lawrence & Josh Hutcherson Talk THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Why It’s So Popular, What They Collect, and More

by     Posted 293 days ago

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Opening on November 22nd in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Josh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Lawrence and Hutcherson.  They talked about what it was like working with Francis Lawrence, what makes The Hunger Games so popular around the world, being in the center of the promotional whirlwind, what they collect, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Atlanta Readers: Win Passes to See THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

by     Posted 294 days ago

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A few weeks ago, I was at a screening, and the person behind me tapped me on the shoulder to ask if we were going to give away passes to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  I said, “Maybe,”; now I can say “Definitely”, and I’m willing to bet that gentleman isn’t the only one excited for this movie.  I really enjoyed Gary RossThe Hunger Games, but now the franchise faces a new challenge by having to work with a different director (I Am Legend’s Francis Lawrence) and a weaker novel (it’s widely agreed that it peaks halfway through).  Still, the trailers have been encouraging, the plot is solid, and I have high expectations for this sequel.

We’re going to be giving away ten pairs of passes to the Atlanta screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  The screening will also be live streaming the red carpet from the Los Angeles premiere, brought to you by Subway.  Hit the jump to find out how you can see the movie early and for free.  It opens wide in regular theaters and IMAX on November 22nd.

New Clip from THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE: “This Trip Doesn’t End When You Get Back Home”

by     Posted 300 days ago

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The first clip from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire found its way online earlier today.  Since it found its way after premiering on The Tonight Show, Lionsgate released another scene on the Hunger Games Facebook page and bills it as the official first Catching Fire clip.  Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) gives a Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a reality check about their role as public figures under the watchful eye of President Snow (Donald Sutherland):

“This trip, girl, wake up!  This trip doesn’t end when you get back home.  You never get off this train.  You two are mentors now.  From now on, your job is to be a distraction so people forget what the real problems are.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22.  Watch the clip after the jump.

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