The Hunger Games movie could easily outpace Twilight in opening weekend

Although the books and movie franchises are very different, comparisons between The Hunger Games and Twilight seem inevitable and now, with The Hunger Games set to open, it could beat Twilight at the box office.

So far the buzz and pre-sales of tickets for the hotly anticipated movie The Hunger Games has been epic, which seems appropriate for a movie with an epic sweep. Both The Hunger Games and the vampire-love-story Twilight were written for Young Adult readers, they soon crossed over into adult markets and became huge best-sellers. However, the stories are very different. Twilight tells the story of love among supernatural beasts, while The Hunger Games tells of a dystopian future where children are forced to fight to the death for the amusement of the populace.

However, according to movie industry sources, the opening weekend for The Hunger Games could easily outdistance the opening weekend of Twilight. At first, projections for the movie were good, but nothing like what they are now. Some initial projections were that the movie might make about $90 million for the weekend, which would already have been spectacular for a movie opening this early in the spring season. Now, however, with over $25 million in pre-sale tickets, tickets sold before the movie has even opened, and climbing movie insiders are re-evaluating their initial projections.

According to some, a weekend total of $125 to $150 million might not be out of the question. And that would be on a non-holiday weekend when people do not have the day off during the week to add to the total. That would make The Hunger Games the highest-grossing nonsequel movie or a three day weekend in history. That does not adjust the totals for inflation, however.

Although the projections are high, it seems unlikely that the movie will become the highest grossing movie to debut ever. Just last year the eighth and final Harry Potter movie opened to a weekend total over $160 million.

However, for fans of the Twilight movies and books, this weekend’s opening could easily break the record set by last summer’s Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part One. It could also eclipse past Twilight debuts for New Moon and the first Twilight movie. Several of those films are already in the top five all time highest grossing movies in history.

The thing that could be propelling The Hunger Games to such heights is the potential audience for the film. The Twilight movies appealed primarily to a younger female audience. Audience projections for The Hunger Games shows an appeal that crosses a gender and age line. Males 25 and older have indicated that they intend to see the film.

According to some reports, the online ticket-seller Fandango, is indicating that 2,500 screenings across the country are already sold out. This is a full 24 hours or more before the movie has officially opened. The movie also is getting hugely positive buzz via pre-screenings and holds an impressive 89% Fresh rating on Rottentomatoes.com.

Photo courtesy of Morguefile.com

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