Catching Fire, the second in four planned movies based on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, scored the biggest November debut ever at the box office, and the fourth biggest of all times, with $161.1 million this weekend, and a huge $307.7 million take around the world. It now ranks behind The Avengers ($207.4 million), Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million) and Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169.2 million). To make it #4, the saga of Katniss Everdeen passed The Dark Knight Rises ($160.9 million).

Perhaps most importantly, filmgoers were an integrated crowd:

Early exit poll data suggests the audience gender gap from the first “Hunger Games” film is shrinking. Male attendance on Friday jumped 12% from the original to 41% of overall auds, and moviegoers are about equally split between the over-25 and under-25 crowd.

So now we know, you CAN open an action movie with a female lead.




  1. Of course Katniss beat Batman: she’s willing to kill. :)

    Anecdotally, my Saturday afternoon screening of Catching Fire was a pretty diverse crowd, including a lot of teenage boys.

  2. Not sure this success would be easily transferable to a WW movie. She might be considered old and stodgy compared to new female protagonists like Katniss.

    The bathing suit probably does not help either, unless you’re targeting the male audience.

  3. “She might be considered old and stodgy compared to new female protagonists like Katniss.”

    There’s too much thinking and considering for these things and not enough doing.

    I’ll take a Misty Knight and Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew movie while they’re at it.

    I have a feeling this type of anti-thinking is exactly what caused Robinov’s ousting at WB.

  4. So female-led sci-fi movies now hold the debut records for October and November. Anyone want to trot out the “female-led sci-fi movies don’t sell” line again?

  5. Something to keep in mind about the success of CATCHING FIRE is that Collins’ Hunger Games series has also appealed to adults, even though the series is nominally intended for teenagers. Collins’ books are examples of stories being written on multiple levels, rather than being for all ages.

    Marketing and the success of the first movie are probably responsible for the bigger number of male viewers.


  6. While it’s a nice catchy header, and doesn’t speak to the true issue, “Katniss beats Batman” is misleading. Hunger Games beat Batman (or the Dark Knight). Point being, while it’s a female-led sci-fi movie, it most certainly is not a female titled movie. And I would argue the movies are much larger than just Katniss herself. Case in point, had the movies or the books been called simply Katniss, I don’t think it would be as universally accepted. Dark Knight IS Batman. Hunger Games is Katniss and a lot more.

    But I digress…

  7. …and it turns it didn’t beat Dark Knight Rises after all, now that Weekend Actuals have been reported. Hunger Games’ estimates proved to be off by a couple million bucks.

  8. “So now we know, you CAN open an action movie with a female lead.”

    Yes, as long as it’s not based on a comic book.

  9. Mikael…well, actually it IS about Katniss, although there is a lot of social commentary as well. Sorry about that.

    Although the Dark Knight triumphed in the end, the success of both Gravity ALL NEW NEVER BEFORE SEEN STORY BASED ON NO MOVIE VIDEO GAME OR COMIC BOOK WITH FEMALE LEAD!!!!!–and Catching Fires hows that the movie going audience in all four quadrants is primed for a wider variety of offerings than studio execs are used to.

  10. “… than studio execs are used to.”

    Sorry, were no studio execs involved in Gravity and Hunger Games 2?

Comments are closed.