The Hunger Games: Catching Fire surpasses Iron Man 3 as the top grossing film of 2013

Unsurprisingly, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE has surpassed IRON MAN 3's domestic box office, making it the top grossing film of 2013. I say unsurprisingly because both franchises have a huge built-in fanbase making them both equal contenders for the race to the top spot at the box office. Lionsgate issued a press release, declaring victory over Marvel as THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE's $409.4 million take just edged out IRON MAN 3's final tally of $409 million and change. With Hunger Games still in theaters the distance of those numbers is likely to grow, but not substantially. Either way, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE is now officially the top earner of 2013.

Here's the full press release:

SANTA MONICA, CA, and VANCOUVER, BC, January 10, 2014 – Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire became the highest-grossing film released at the domestic box office in 2013 as it grossed an estimated $493,000 last night for an estimated domestic cume to date of $409.4 million in its first 49 days of release, the Company announced today.

Catching Fire, which set records for the biggest November opening weekend of all time ($158.1 million) as well as the biggest three- and five-day Thanksgiving box office totals ever, has already become the 13th highest-grossing North American release in history and remains in wide release.  It passed the first Hunger Games film, which grossed $408 million at the domestic box office, on Tuesday and is the fifth fastest film ever to reach the $400 million mark at the domestic box office.

The success of Catching Fire marks the first time the first two installments of a franchise have each topped $400 million at the domestic box office, and both films now rank among the top 15 domestic film releases in history.  Catching Fire has also grossed $428.8 million internationally for a worldwide box office total of $838.2 million in its first seven weeks of release compared to $691 million worldwide box office generated during the entire run of the first Hunger Games film.  The Company noted that Catching Fire is the first 2D film to become the top-grossing film of the year since 2008.

“The Hunger Games franchise continues to evolve into a truly global phenomenon,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer.  “The success of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a testament to the vision of author Suzanne Collins, the sure hand of director Francis Lawrence, the brilliant performances of a remarkably talented cast led by the amazing Jennifer Lawrence and superb execution by our motion picture production, marketing and distribution teams.  We will continue to grow the transformative Hunger Gamesfranchise in the years to come even as we continue to develop a dynamic portfolio of premium new brands.”

The next two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, are currently in production for release on November 21, 2014 and November 20, 2015, respectively.

With another installment of the franchise hitting this year and another in 2015, do you think the franchise will once again trump the box office for two more straight years? It's doubtful, given the anticipation of THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, and of course, STAR WARS: EPISODE VII in 2015, but I think the franchise has a VERY good chance of taking the box office again in 2014 given it's performance thus far. What do you think?

Source: Lionsgate



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