The Hunger Games storms to the top of US box office

The Hunger Games stormed to the top of the North American box office and saw it land a place in the record books with the third-best-grossing opening weekend.

The film – starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth – sold 155 million dollars in tickets from Friday to Sunday in the United States and Canada, according to studio estimates.

The dystopian film based on a popular teen novel about a televised battle to the death in which children are forced to compete also broke records for the best opening day for a non-sequel and for a movie released in the spring.

On Friday alone, The Hunger Games brought in 68.3 million dollars, the fifth best showing ever. The record is held by the final Harry Potter installment with 92 million dollars, and the rest of the top five are all held by sequels in popular series.

The box-office performance surpassed all expectations for the film starring Lawrence as post-apocalyptic heroine Katniss Everdeen.

Widely tipped to become one of 2012’s biggest blockbusters, The Hunger Games is based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel of the same name, which has already sold more than 24 million copies.

Cop comedy 21 Jump Street landed in second place with 21.3 million dollars and animated film The Lorax fell to third place with 13 million dollars.

The science-fiction flick John Carter was in fourth place with 5 million dollars of tickets sold over the weekend.

With production costs of 250 million dollars, it is being derided as among the year’s biggest box office flops.Authors: Chris Melzer and Anne Walters