Eager moviegoers propelled Lionsgate's sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to a $307.7 million global opening, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, easily outpacing the first film's $211.8 million debut in March 2012.
In North America, Catching Fire scored the top November opening of all time with $161.1 million, slaying the record set by fellow YA film adaptation The Twilight Saga: New Moon ($142.8) and marking the fourth-biggest opening of all time after The Avengers ($207.4 million), Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million) and the final Harry Potter film ($169.2 million). Catching Fire enjoys the distinction of toppling The Dark Knight Rises ($160.9 million).
Already a much bigger player overseas than the first film, Catching Fire launched to $146.6 million from 65 markets, doing double the business of Hunger Games overall. Hunger Games topped out at $408 million domestically and $283.2 million internationally for a global total of $691.2 million; Catching Fire is expected to do substantially more, particularly offshore.
Directed by Francis Lawrence, the sequel returns Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth in the lead roles. Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone also star.
Simon Beaufoy and Michael DeBruyn wrote the screenplay, adapting it from the Suzanne Collins best-seller.