Including its $25 million in Thursday night previews, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" took in an estimated $70.5 million on its opening day.
That's slightly up on the $67.2 million that "The Hunger Games" earned in March 2012 and above the $68.8 million of "Iron Man 3". However, quieter than expected matinees on Friday means that overly ambitious estimates for the film's opening weekend total have now had to be scaled back.
In fact, many are wondering if the film will top its predecessor ($152M), and it now seems quite certain to fall short of this year's best opener "Iron Man 3" ($176M). Either way, 'Catching Fire' looks certain to have the biggest November opening of all time.
In other 'Hunger Games' news, the film's director Francis Lawrence has confirmed there are no scenes in the currently shooting third film that will use IMAX.
'Catching Fire' shot its entire last act arena sequence with IMAX, but the third film has no such large scale environments and thus doesn't require the format. "We are shooting the third one digitally because there are more claustrophobic, underground scenes that won't be suited for IMAX" says Lawrence.