Hunger Games Catching Fire

Digital purchases up 40%, while hard copy units sold comparably to the first film

The odds still are ever in its favor.

Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” has sold an estimated 3.9 million DVD and Blu-ray copies in its first weekend of release in North America, with the biggest digital launch for the company, surpassing the original film by almost 40%.

The film’s digital bow went out on nearly 20 various platforms, of which six were introduced after the digital release of the first “Hunger Games” in 2012.

Also, “Catching Fire” saw a significant increase in Blu-ray sales, which accounted for half of all packaged media buys, up from the format’s 35% share during the original installment’s opening weekend in homevid. Total hard copy sales were in line with the first film, according to Lionsgate.

“This is a monster opening and a tremendous result for the second film in a franchise, underscoring the enormous momentum of ‘The Hunger Games’ films,” said Ron Schwartz, prexy and general manager of home entertainment sales and distribution for Lionsgate.

“With strong increases in digital revenue and Blu-Ray accounting for 50% of packaged media sales, the opening weekend performance is driving significant margin growth and is a testament to the strength of the franchise,” Schwartz added.

To date, “Catching Fire” stands as the top-grossing domestic release of 2013, with $424 million, added to almost $440 million earned overseas, for a total $864 million worldwide.

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