Predicting The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opening weekend box office proved to be challenging for many box office experts. The week started with many forecasting that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire could have the highest opening weekend of 2013 yet. However, as Friday box office numbers started to trickle in, most were revising their forecasts downward and some were even wondering if The Hunger Games: Catching Fire would exceed the box office take of the original Hunger Games movie.
However, as we noted in our write-up on the box office forecasts dropping, there seems to be a trend developing recently with Saturday numbers exceeding expectations. Just like Thor: The Dark World proved stronger on Saturday and Sunday, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire followed the same pattern. Even though one might not think about a movie centered around kids killing one another as a family movie, the movie is a based on a book that was extremely popular with teens and young adults, and the film did attract in family audiences over the weekend.
Based on a strong Saturday, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is now projected to finish with a opening weekend box office of $161.1 million. This number beats the $152.2 opening weekend for the original Hunger Games, and it breaks the previous November opening weekend U.S. box office record of $142.8 million held by The Twilight Saga: New Moon. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire also sets the record for best opening weekend ever for a non-3D movie, passing ahead of The Dark Knight Rises opening weekend U.S. box office of $160.8 million.