The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Tracking Toward $150 Million Opening, Plus A New IMAX Poster

By Rudie Obias | Updated

katniss everdeenWith The Hunger Games: Catching Fire due in theaters in less than a month, the sequel will have the best spot at the table during the Thanksgiving movie-going season. In a month that will see the release of other blockbusters such as Thor: The Dark World and Ender’s Game, Catching Fire is tracking to be far more successful, as it is now vying for the all-time highest-grossing movie for the month of November.

According to Variety, Lionsgate is tracking The Hunger Games sequel to open with a box office gross upwards of $150 million for its domestic opening. While many box office analysts feel the studio’s estimate is rather conservative, some box office watchers surmise an opening take of more than $160 million in only three days in the United States.

It’s reasonable to assume that Catching Fire will outperform the original Hunger Games‘ $152.5 million opening when you consider the first film was released in March 2012. The sequel will have the luxury of opening during Thanksgiving weekend, which is believed to be more lucrative for movie studios. At the moment, the all-time highest-grossing movie of November is The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which opened at $142.8 million in 2009.

It was earlier reported that the budget for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire could end up being north of $130 million, so it stands to reason that it wouldn’t take too long for the film to be profitable for Lionsgate. Especially since it’s ultimately projected to earn almost $1 billion, with a possible $950 million worldwide.

Although the sequel film is projected to gross upwards of $160 million for its opening, it will be hard for Catching Fire to outdo the all-time movie openers such as The Avengers, which took in $207.4 million in 2012, and Iron Man 3, which took in $174.1 during its first week of release this past spring. Both Marvel movies opened during the primetime summer movie-going season and were strengthened by the coveted 3D surcharge. While Catching Fire isn’t releasing in the 3D format, the sequel will have an IMAX surcharge attached for some screenings.


Speaking of IMAX, Lionsgate released a new bizarrely beautiful IMAX poster for the film’s release. The poster is not of the standard movie poster variety, but its beauty comes from its strangeness. The artwork, which Badass Digest explains is inspired by the work of Kris Kuksi, is arresting and showstopping. While it’s not vibrant or full of color, it projects an idea of lyrical beauty in a hodge-podge world of conflicting ideas.

While The Hunger Games is in the young adult/science fiction/love triangle genre, its story and characters have more to say about life than its YA counterpart The Twilight Saga. The new IMAX poster is representative of that idea. Just wait until some preteen comes of age and wants this piece of artwork as a new tattoo.

The Hunger Games sequel follows Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark returning home to District 12 after winning the 74th Hunger Games. As a new champion, Katniss quickly becomes the new face of hope for the people of Panem. Katniss and Peeta then return to the Capitol for the annual Victory Tour, and to participate in the Third Quarter Quell, or 75th Hunger Games, which is composed of the winning Tributes from the past 25 years. Meanwhile, President Snow tries to stamp out any signs of the rumored rebellion, starting with ruining Katniss’ new image as a symbol of hope and survival.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will hit theaters everywhere on November 22, in glorious IMAX.