North American moviegoers devour ‘Hunger Games’ sequel


LOS ANGELES–“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” took in US$161.1 million at the North American box office this weekend in one of the biggest movie debuts ever, industry estimates showed Sunday. Starring Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, the second installment in the blockbuster series is anticipated to have the fourth best start ever in the United States, Exhibitor Relations said. Second place went to “Thor: The Dark World,” the latest movie based on Marvel’s iconic comic book character, which took in US$14.1 million in its third weekend, for a total of US$167.9 million so far. Romantic Christmas comedy “The Best Man Holiday,” a sequel 15 years in the making to “The Best Man” in which old college friends reignite old romances and rivalries, took in US$12.5 million for third place. The fourth spot went to “Delivery Man,” which had a disappointing opening of just US$8.2 million. The comedy stars Vince Vaughn as sperm donor who discovers he has sired 533 children.

Animated “Free Birds,” in fifth place, earned US$5.3 million, while sixth place went to “Last Vegas,” starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline on a seniors’ bachelor party to Sin City. It earned US$4.4 million.