‘Games’ nabs $19.7 mil at record midnight bow

Pic on track to score $120-125 mil three-day haul

Final returns from Thursday midnight screenings of “The Hunger Games” came in at $19.7 million, marking the highest midnight take for a non-sequel pic and validating predictions of an outsized hit for Lionsgate’s biggest bet yet.

More bullish estimates late last night had pegged midnight grosses for the film in the $25 million-$30 million range, though according to bizzers, some of the larger theater chains contributed less than expected.

The closest midnight comparisons for “Hunger Games” are “The Dark Knight,” which earned $18.5 million in midnights, and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” with $22.2 million.

Neither of those films provide much clarity in predicting three-day grosses for “Hunger Games,” since “Dark Knight” bowed during the summer with $158 million — the second-highest opening of all time. “Half-Blood Prince,” meanwhile, bowed on Wednesday and in three days collected $77 million.

Bizzers are estimating a $120 million- $125 million three-day haul for “Games.” But by no means is a commensurate bounty in the bag.

Why? For starters, “The Hunger Games” has an older audience that will catch it when crowds subside. Also, the film’s March launchpad doesn’t have the same breadth of out-of-school teens and tweens as a summer or holiday bow, though a portion of Stateside students are on spring break.

In addition to its non-sequel midnight benchmark, “Hunger Games” scored the biggest late-night take for Imax ($1.3 million), outside of the “Harry Potter” franchise. It’s also the seventh-largest midnight grosser ever on an industrywide scale.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety