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'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' heats up box office with November record

The "Hunger Games" sequel set fire to the box office with a huge opening weekend.
Posted By Kate Stanton   |   Nov. 24, 2013 at 7:32 PM   |   Comments

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Nov. 24 (UPI) -- The odds were always in Catching Fire's favor, but the Hunger Games series' second installment broke records at the weekend box office, numbers that will more than make up for the film's $130 million budget.

The highly anticipated sequel -- starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth -- pulled in $161.1 million in domestic sales, out-earning its 2012 predecessor The Hunger Games ($152.5 million).

Catching Fire had the fourth-best domestic debut of all time. It also broke the record for best-ever November debut, blowing past the The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which earned $142.9 million in 2009.

Co-producer Nina Jacobson said positive reviews, a bigger budget and Jennifer Lawrence's post-Oscar star power helped push Catching Fire past the franchise's first film.

“One takeaway for us here is that Jennifer Lawrence is not only a giant movie star, but she’s a movie star for everybody,” Jacobson told The New York Times.

Thor: The Dark World came in at second place.

[EW, Variety, NY Times]

Follow @KateStan and @UPI on Twitter.
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