The Hunger Games hunted down and killed all the competition over the weekend at the box office. The big screen adaptation of the hugely popular young adult novel banked a record breaking $155 million on its debut. The opening was the biggest ever for a non-sequel and the third largest of all time (trailing The Dark Knight’s $158 million)

The Suzanne Collins adaptation grossed $68.2 million on its opening day, almost the same amount as the original Twilight did on its first weekend ($69.1 million). In fact, The Hunger Games is acting like a sequel, with so much pent-up demand, and unlike Stephanie Meyer’s vampire romance, the dystopian drama is also attracting boys.

The Hunger Games has had great reviews (read ours) and the young cast featuring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson have been selling the film and copious magazines in the process. The Gary Ross directed film has a production budget of “just” $78 million, and although it carries a steep marketing budget, it doesn’t matter as it has already been massively successful and even more green will be added to the kitty once the sequels hit the screens. Globally the film has grossed a huge $214 million on weekend one, which is a lot of cash in any currency.

Last weekend’s champ 21 Jump Street dropped over 40%, banking an additional $21 million, and upping its cume to $71 million.

Dr. Seuss animation The Lorax scored another $13.1 million and brought the Danny DeVito voiced ‘toon’s total to a smidgen under $177 million.

John Carter grossed $5 million over the weekend giving the Disney disaster film a total of just $62.3 million. The $250 million dollar film has grossed around $200 million globally, but it’s still expected to lose Disney around $150 million. Ouch.

Act of Valor grossed $2 million and brought its total to $65.9 million, a great gross for a film that cost just $12 million.

R-rated comedy Project X banked $1.95 million, a number which brings its total to just over $51 million, and over $70 million worldwide.

Eddie Murphy’s A Thousand Words laughed $1.92 million out of the pockets of moviegoers and brought its total to $14.9 million.

Drama October Baby entered the top ten, even though it’s only playing in under 400 theaters, grossing an impressive $1.7 million.

Safe House banked a further $1.4 million and upped its cume to $122 million, while the top ten was rounded out by Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. The Dwayne Johnson film inched closer to the $100 million mark, after it grossed $1.3 million and brought its total to $97 million.

That’s it for now. See you at the movies.

Source: Box Office Mojo