‘The Hunger Games’ could make as much as $100 million on opening weekend

By Daniel S Levine,

Lionsgate has been pulling no punches when trying to promote The Hunger Games, an adaptation of the first novel in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of best-selling books. The promotional campaign has already ensured that it will have a massive opening weekend later this month, but early tracking suggests that it could be even bigger than Twilight, making over $100 million when it opens.

According to The Los Angeles Times, tracking is a term used by Hollywood studio executives to judge just how much buzz a film has built up before its release. The tracking results for The Hunger Games show that the film could top $100 million in its first weekend alone when it opens on March 23. Previous data from three of the major companies that specialize in it showed that the Jennifer Lawrence-starring film would make between $70 million and $90 million.

So, why is the new data showing an increase? Deadline reports that nearly a quarter of those surveyed considered the film their “first choice” if they go to the theater on its opening weekend. A little over half said that they have “definite interest” in the film.

As The Hollywood Reporter notes, The Hunger Games also has one significant advantage over Twilight, which made $70 million when the first film opened in November 2008. Tracking shows that males have an interest in the film, an entire sector of the audience that largely did not flock to Twilight. “There's no doubt about it, more males will show up for Hunger Games,” an executive from a rival studio told the Hollywood Reporter. Still, The Hunger Games is doing best among females under 25.

The Hunger Games have been compared to Twilight because they are both based on popular young adult novels. Summit Entertainment, which released Twilight, is also now owned by Lionsgate, a studio that is in need of a gig hit franchise to follow that series. The last Twilight film will be released in November.

The film will definitely attract fans of The Hunger Games novels, especially after Collins wrote on the official Facebook page that she loves the film. “I’m really happy with how it turned out. I feel like the book and the film are individual yet complementary pieces that enhance one another,” she wrote.

 
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