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Hunger Setting Box Office Records

HUNGER STORMS BOX OFFICE: Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games is headed for a weekend gross that appears capable of topping the $138 million of the most recent Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One. That would be pretty impressive for what is the first in the franchise trilogy pf young adult best-selling books. The film’s opening $19.75 million box office result from 2,565 midnight locations last night set the record for all-time highest-grossing non-sequel midnight ever, the seventh highest midnight gross of all time. Fandango is currently selling 12 tickets per second for the movie, which represents an overwhelming 97% of online ticket sales today. More than 3,500 showtimes sold out in advance of the release. The Hunger Games now leads the list of Fandango’s top franchise-openers, and has eclipsed The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and surpassed The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 to become Fandango’s #3 advance ticket seller of all-time. It’s also the biggest IMAX non-summer non-holiday 2D opening of all time, earning more than  $1.3 million from 269 IMAX locations. That’s the highest behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One ($1.4m) and Part Two ($2.0m) and more than Transformers 3 ($1.3m). Meanwhile, the T Bone Burnett-produced Universal Republic soundtrack,  featuring Taylor Swift/The Civil Wars, Miranda Lambert, The Decemberists, Arcade Fire and others, is on course for first-week sales north of 175k. (3/23p)

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