The highly-anticipated film "The Hunger Games" set multiple box office records, earning $155 million in its opening weekend.
The Lionsgate film exceeded all expectations for its opening weekend. "The Hunger Games" claimed the spot for the third highest grossing weekend ever, behind "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" which earned $169.2 million and "The Dark Knight" which grossed $158.4 million.
After only three days in theaters, the movie has the second-highest Saturday box office ever (behind "Spider-Man 3"), the number one opening film outside of the month of July ever and the number one non-sequel opening in history.
"The Hunger Games" has earned $214.25 million worldwide. It performed better than any film in "The Twilight Saga" franchise.
In the film, Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, a young woman who lives in a post-apocalyptic future where a boy and girl from various districts are chosen and taken to a massive area where they must survive and fight to death. This annual event, dubbed The Hunger Games, takes place in front of cameras, who broadcast their every move to viewers.
The film is an adaptation of the best-selling young adult novel "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. It also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and Lenny Kravitz.
The movie opened in 4,137 theaters and marks the biggest movie opening ever for the Lionsgate studio, which recently bought Summit Entertainment, the studio responsible for "The Twilight Saga" franchise.
Director Gary Ross is best known for helming feel-good films like "Pleasantville" and "Seabiscuit." He told OnTheRedCarpet.com that he enjoyed making the film more than anything else he's done. Ross also co-wrote the screenplay with Collins and screenwriter Billy Ray.
Lawrence told OnTheRedCarpet.com that Ross directed "The Hunger Games" "like a war movie" and admitted that if she had been in Everdeen's place, she would have just cried through the entire experience.
Coming in second place in Friday's box office was last week's winner, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill's buddy cop comedy "21 Jump Street." The flick earned another $21.3 million over the weekend, for an estimated cume of $69.9 million.
Also in the running were "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," followed by "John Carter," and "Act of Valor," which earned another $13.1 million, $5 million and $2 million respectively.
Landing eighth in the box office was this week's other release, "October Baby," which follows a young woman who discovers she is the adopted survivor of an attempted abortion. The film opened in 398 theaters and earned $1.7 million on Friday.
Watch a trailer for "The Hunger Games" and "October Baby" below.