Opening on 2,565 screens across the country, The Hunger Games raked in $19.7 million during its midnight premiere, and set the record for the highest midnight gross of a non-sequel movie in history, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This gross beats out the original Twilight's midnight opening, as well as The Dark Knight and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith's $17 million midnight gross.
The Hunger Games couldn't dethrone the past three Twilight films or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2's midnight totals, but for the first installment in a new franchise, these numbers are impressive to say the least. The site is also reporting that box office observers are projecting The Hunger Game's weekend gross at north of $130 million, which is staggering considering the movie's budget was just over $70 million.
Unlike the Twilight franchise, The Hunger Games has been supported by strong critical reviews and solid buzz in the weeks leading up to its debut. We'll keep an eye on the box office numbers all weekend to see if Jennifer Lawrence and company can knock Twilight off of the YA mountain.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]