There was never a question that The Hunger Games would make a lot of money; the question has been where’s the ceiling? Anticipation for Gary Ross’ latest film has been through the roof for months now, leaving many of us to wonder just how well it was going to do in its opening weekend. While we won’t have the final figures until Sunday, Friday’s estimates are now in and the only thing that can be said is, “Wow.”

Following Thursday night, when The Hunger Games raked in $19.74 million from midnight screenings, it’s now being reported by Deadline that the movie has made $68.25 million thus far. This puts the film on pace to have a $140 million opening weekend. Should it come to pass, this means that the movie won’t be the biggest opener of all time – it still falls behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 3 and The Twilight Saga: New Moon - but the movie looks to break records for “highest non-sequel opening weekend ever, the highest debut single day for a non-sequel ever, and the highest March opening ever, and the 5th highest opening day ever.” The closest competition for The Hunger Games is 21 Jump Street, but the comedy is only estimated to bring in $20 million this weekend, which is respectable but obviously not anywhere near the dystopian science-fiction story.

Now all we have to start wondering about is just how far The Hunger Games can take things in the box office. Thanks to positive reactions by both critics and fans, we can likely expect that many people will be heading back to the theaters next week for second viewings, which will pump the numbers even higher. We’ll just have to wait and see what the film’s true potential is.

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