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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The shirtless warriors of the "300" sequel "Rise of an Empire" ravaged the post-Oscars box-office weekend with a domestic…
Author Donna Labermeier wants her three-book series,The Healers Triology, to spread positive energy to teens, libraries,…
YouTuber and magician "MagicofRahat" gave a homeless man a winning lottery ticket and told him he could keep the winnings in an…
Get ready to lose an hour of sleep this Sunday. And if you have kids, it may be even more stressful.
A 75-year-old New York woman found her fortune in a cookie.
Construction is set to start on Cincinnati’s latest brewery in historic Over-the-Rhine.
The Internet has had a monumental impact on bringing together like-minded folks to freely share education and creativity. Now the information…
A look at the delicate balance between artistry, accessibility and fiscal realities at local live theaters.
A look at the performers at the 2014 Macy's Music Festival in downtown Cincinnati.
There is just so much WRONG in Cincinnati.