Jennifer Lawrence and the stars of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire have been in promotional mode all week, going from country to country, red carpet to red carpet. Alas, their hard work seems to have paid off, since both the domestic and international buzz for the movie is off the charts. The reviews for the film have been staggeringly positive so far, with the majority of critics taking time out to single Lawrence for her performance. I mean, at this point it’s like telling us the color of the sky. The sky is blue. Water is clear. Jennifer Lawrence is a terrific actress and steals the movie. Duh.
What’s surprising is that most critics seem to be embracing this movie even more than the first one, especially when reviewers say that Catching Fire definitely feels like more of a ‘blockbuster’ than The Hunger Games ever did. And of course, the audience almost always builds for sequels, which means the opening weekend for this film could surpass The Hunger Games’ $152 million opening weekend in 2012.Right now, ‘official’ tracking puts the opening weekend figures at $140-150 million. However, traditional tracking has been increasingly unreliable lately, especially for major releases like this one. Several rival studios are predicting that the opening weekend could go as high as $170 million for the opening weekend, which would break records. It all depends on the buzz, the strength of the reviews, and the quality of the marketing. But from what we’ve seen so far, there’s no reason to suspect that Catching Fire won’t do just as well as The Hunger Games, if not better.
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