Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire became the highest-grossing film released at the domestic box office in 2013 as it grossed an estimated $493,000 last night for an estimated domestic cumulative gross to date of $409.4 million in its first 49 days of release, the Company announced today.
Catching Fire, which set records for the biggest November opening weekend of all time ($158.1 million) as well as the biggest three- and five-day Thanksgiving box office totals ever, has already become the 13(th) highest-grossing North American release in history and remains in wide release. It passed the first Hunger Games film, which grossed $408 million at the domestic box office, on Tuesday and is the fifth fastest film ever to reach the $400 million mark at the domestic box office.
The success of Catching Fire marks the first time the first two installments of a franchise have each topped $400 million at the domestic box office, and both films now rank among the top 15 domestic film releases in history. Catching Fire has also grossed $428.8 million internationally for a worldwide box office total of $838.2 million in its first seven weeks of release compared to $691 million worldwide box office generated during the entire run of the first Hunger Games film. The Company noted that Catching Fire is the first 2D film to become the top-grossing film of the year since 2008.
Here's what Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer had to say in a statement.
"The Hunger Games franchise continues to evolve into a truly global phenomenon. The success of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a testament to the vision of author Suzanne Collins, the sure hand of director Francis Lawrence, the brilliant performances of a remarkably talented cast led by the amazing Jennifer Lawrence and superb execution by our motion picture production, marketing and distribution teams. We will continue to grow the transformative Hunger Games franchise in the years to come even as we continue to develop a dynamic portfolio of premium new brands."
The next two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, are currently in production for release on November 21, 2014 and November 20, 2015, respectively.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson). Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.