The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second film in a franchise that has obviously caught fire with audiences. The sequel to 2012's The Hunger Games began playing last night at 8 PM and since then has grossed $25.25 million domestically, 28% higher than the first film's Thursday opening with $32 million already in the bank from 43 international territories.
Comparisons are already being drawn to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, but those comparisons have to remember, they are being made to the final film in a popular franchise compared to only the second film in a franchise that has two more releases yet to come. That said, the difference is minimal as Breaking Dawn - Part 2's Thursday night last November was $30.4 million. Granted, screenings of that film began at 10 PM, but that film also ran 30 minutes shorter than Catching Fire.
Catching Fire (read my review here) is expected to make somewhere near $175 million for the weekend, which means it will be competing with Iron Man 3 for the #1 spot after its $174.1 million from earlier this year. [Deadline]