Post-apocalyptic action movie The Hunger Game debuted with a staggering $155 million in the US and Canadian box offices and $59 million in the rest of the world, beating Hollywood lofty expectations and becoming the third-highest grossing film opening in the US, after last Summers Harry Potter finale, which took $169.2 millions, and 2008 Batmans movie The Dark Night, which made $158.4 millions.
The action-filled survival drama, which is based on the first of the three best-selling young adults novels by Suzanne Collins, is about a group of teenagers who are forced by the rulers of their society to participate in a survival TV show, in which they have to fight each other to death. Only one winner survives.
Rising star, Jennifer Laurence, who was nominated for an Oscar last year, plays one of the competing teenagers, Everdeen, who becomes a beacon of hope for freedom against the totalitarian government as she dares the bend the rules of game.
Hunger Games is Lion Gates first blockbuster and heralds the birth of a new franchise, which most probably will eclipse the vampire series Twilight, because it appeals to adult as well as young audiences. The second instalment is already in the works, and will be scribed by British Oscar-winning screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy.
Other movies trailed far behind in the weekend box office. Comedy 21 Jump Street took second place with $21.3 million followed by animated Dr Seuss The Lorax with $13.1 million.