LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is a scorching hit at the box office.
Lionsgate has released early numbers on what's expected to be one of the biggest November openings ever. "Catching Fire" has grossed $70.5 million domestically and $64 million internationally, bringing its total to $135 million, the studio reported Saturday.
Numbers were from Friday's opening day, but includes some scattered preview shows on Thursday night. The sequel gained $25.3 million from Thursday screenings.
"Catching Fire" is expected to bump two-week champ "Thor: The Dark World" out of the No. 1 slot.
Totals for "Catching Fire" are expected to reach $150 million domestically over the weekend, though some reports estimated a $170 million opener.
"This is a testament to the power of the books, the way the first film resonated across the world with audiences and Jennifer Lawrence's continued success and popularity, particularly in this role," said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Rentrak of the "Catching Fire" success. "And the movie has gotten great reviews, which means it will get great word of mouth."
The impressive opening of "Catching Fire" is expected to mark the eighth-highest domestic opening to date. "The Hunger Games," with $67.3 million its opening night in 2012, holds the title of the sixth-highest opening weekend with $152.5 million. "The Avengers" sits at No. 1 with $207.4 million.
According to poll data, the popularity of "Catching Fire" is crossing over to all moviegoers, as compared to the female-heavy audience of "Hunger Games." About 12 percent more male moviegoers saw "Catching Fire" and the audience was split equally between those older and younger than 25.
The smoldering "Catching Fire" ticket sales are in line with what the studio was expecting, said Dergarabedian.
"They are going to get a wonderful second weekend with Thanksgiving," he added. "It is so important to have Thanksgiving as your second weekend. People have time off work and go out and catch up on their movie-going. It's a brilliant position to be in."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
What's better than the sweet and salty ballpark treat? A Cincinnati twist you can make in your own kitchen.
Lindsay Lohan says she suffered a miscarriage during the taping of her reality TV series.
The Supreme Court is taking up a dispute between broadcasters and an Internet startup company that has the potential to bring big changes to…
Joss Whedon is releasing a film he wrote as a $5 digital download, bypassing the normal channels of independent film distribution.
Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a…
Captain America continues to vanquish box office foes, triumphing in ticket sales for the third consecutive week and dominating…
At the helm of his namesake eatery Jimmy G's, Gibson entered his profession for the love of food and found a foodie following in the Tri-State.
Many a parent and teacher have tried to bring science alive for children. Writer Mary Kay Carson aims to bring lessons to life by injecting…
Carmon DeLeone thought he would someday play French horn for a professional symphony or, perhaps, drum his way into a touring jazz combo.
Jack White played his new single for a couple of hundred fans on Record Store Day and four hours later a copy of the performance was…