Hunger Games: Catching Fire has topped the US box office chart this weekend with takings of $161 million.
The Hunger Games sequel narrowly failed to become the biggest opener of the year, falling short of Iron Man 3‘s debut of $174 million.
However, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence, did achieve the most successful November opening of all time.
Its performance dominated cinema-going in North America, with nearest rival Thor taking in a mere $14.1 million.
The only other new entry, Disney comedy Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn, had to settled for fourth place and box office returns of $8.2 million.
Catching Fire managed the fourth biggest US opening of all time, behind The Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part II.
More complicated box office marketing in recent years has boosted box office returns, with higher-priced Imax and 3D tickets and early Thursday night screenings being taken into account.
Catching Fire earned 8% of its first weekend takings from higher priced Imax tickets.
The second outing of the Hunger Games franchise had a more lavish budget, outperforming the first film in its first week at cinemas, and appealing to a wider audience.
The first film, released last year, took $152 million in its opening weekend.
The latest film is based on Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of dystopian novels where young people fight one another to the death on live television.
North American box office Top 5:
1. Hunger Games: Catching Fire – $161 million
2. Thor: The Dark World – $14.1 million
3. The Best Man Holiday – $12.5 million
4. Delivery Man – $8.2 million
5. Free Birds – $5.3 million
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