From Seeking Alpha email alert Regarding Catching Fire
The Hunger Games wrap: Teens show tent-pole strategy alive and well • 9:30 AM
Early estimates on the box office haul of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire indicate the film earned $152M-$160M in the U.S. over the weekend to set a November record and land as the 8th highest opening of all-time.
Inside the numbers: Global audiences bring the weekend tally for the Lion's Gate (LGF) film to well over $200M with many key markets still on tap. IMAX (IMAX) revenue totals aren't out yet, but anecdotal reports suggest a high percentage of filmgoers went the IMAX route. Males got caught in the Catching Fire buzz, jumping to 41% of the audience component from 29% for the original HG. CinemaScore gave the film a coveted A rating for tracking appeal which shows the juggernaut could have sturdy legs right into streaming.
What to watch: The brisk opening brings a sigh of relief across the industry. Shares of LGF and IMAX broke higher Friday off the early buzz - but could show even more friskiness. Theater operators (CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI) needed the reassurance that the Instagram-teenager set can still deliver high traffic numbers, while Hollywood studios have been in the crossfires of analysts for their reliance on make-or-break tent-pole strategies. Disney (DIS) with the biggest tentpole of all in its back pocket with the Star Wars franchise will take a few cues. Get cracking J.J. Abrams.
From Associated Press:
'Catching Fire' Ablaze With $135M at Box Office
LOS ANGELES November 23, 2013 (AP)
By JESSICA HERNDON AP Film Writer
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is a scorching hit at the box office.
Lionsgate has released early numbers on what's expected to be one of the biggest November openings ever. "Catching Fire" has grossed $70.5 million domestically and $64 million internationally, bringing its total to $135 million, the studio reported Saturday.
Numbers were from Friday's opening day, but includes some scattered preview shows on Thursday night. The sequel gained $25.3 million from Thursday screenings.
"Catching Fire" is expected to bump two-week champ "Thor: The Dark World" out of the No. 1 slot. Full weekend ticket sales estimates at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak, will be released Sunday. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
Totals for "Catching Fire" are expected to reach $150 million domestically over the weekend, though some reports estimated a $170 million opener.
"This is a testament to the power of the books, the way the first film resonated across the world with audiences and Jennifer Lawrence's continued success and popularity, particularly in this role," said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Rentrak of the "Catching Fire" success. "And the movie has gotten great reviews, which means it will get great word of mouth."
The impressive opening of "Catching Fire" is expected to mark the eighth-highest domestic opening to date. "The Hunger Games," with $67.3 million its opening night in 2012, holds the title of the sixth-highest opening weekend with $152.5 million. "The Avengers" sits at No. 1 with $207.4 million.
According to poll data, the popularity of "Catching Fire" is crossing over to all moviegoers, as compared to the female-heavy audience of "Hunger Games." About 12 percent more male moviegoers saw "Catching Fire" and the audience was split equally between those older and younger than 25.
The smoldering "Catching Fire" ticket sales are in line with what the studio was expecting, said Dergarabedian.
"They are going to get a wonderful second weekend with Thanksgiving," he added. "It is so important to have Thanksgiving as your second weekend. People have time off work and go out and catch up on their movie-going. It's a brilliant position to be in."
From Motley Fool:
Weekend Box Office: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' on Pace for Highest-Ever November Debut
By Steve Symington | More Articles | Save For Later
November 24, 2013 | Comments (0)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire looks to enter the record books this weekend, Image source: Lionsgate
Going into this weekend, I wondered whether Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF ) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire could propel itself into the record books with its widely anticipated debut.
After all, some preliminary estimates pegged its U.S. weekend launch at around $175 million, which would have been good for the second-highest debut in history. Incidentally, that would have also wedged it directly between two Disney (NYSE: DIS ) films, trailing only the $207.4 million earned by Marvel's The Avengers in 2012, and just ahead of the $174.1 million from Iron Man 3 earlier this year.
As it stands, however, it looks like the folks at Disney can rest easy for now. If early numbers are any indication, Catching Fire is currently on pace to grab "just" $153 million. Even so, that would still prove enough to edge out the first Hunger Games for the fifth-largest opening of all time, and should easily trump The Twilight Saga: New Moon for the highest-ever November weekend launch.
With this in mind, note Catching Fire is also tracking significantly ahead of its predecessor for international sales, which I specifically singled out on Friday as key to maximizing its chances of exceeding the $1 billion mark over its entire theatrical run.
In fact, as of Friday evening and with two days to go, Catching Fire had already tallied $64 million from foreign movie-goers -- remember the first film garnered only $59.2 million internationally over its entire first weekend.
Deadline Hollywood website Sun am: Based on early numbers from Saturday evening, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire did a better than expected total north of $52 million, and that will lead to a record shattering weekend that could exceed $160 million.