'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Kicks 'Iron Man 3' to the Curb as the Biggest Movie of 2013

Friday, 10 January 2014 11:38 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Kicks 'Iron Man 3' to the Curb as the Biggest Movie of 2013

Katniss Everdeen delivered a kick to the Tony Stark's solar plexus from which no armor, no matter how sophisticated or high-tech, could protect the superhero.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is now the highest-grossing domestic release of 2013, usurping Iron Man 3.

The third installment in Marvel's Iron Man franchise followed up The Avengers in bombastic fashion last May, landing atop the domestic chart for last year with a whopping Stateside total of $409.0 million.  Since debuting in November, the sequel to The Hunger Games has been gaining on the armored Avenger ever since.

As Lionsgate announced today, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has now surpassed Iron Man 3, earning $409.38 million and counting.  Expect that total to climb a little higher over the weeks to come, since Catching Fire is still in the domestic top ten.  Its domination of the box office year is especially impressive considering that the second movie based on Suzanne Collins' novel series was not a 3D release like every other one of 2013's top ten earners except Fast & Furious 6.

This marks the first time that a film with a solo female leading character has been the number one movie of the year since The Exorcist way, way back in 1973.

While Catching Fire is now the biggest movie in America for 2013, it still trails Iron Man 3 on the increasingly important international charts.  Tony Stark's latest ride still sits atop that particular heap, having raked in $1.2 billion worldwide.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is number three on the worldwide totals chart with $832.8 million.  Despicable Me 2, meanwhile, occupies the number two spot with $921.2 million.

But anyways, here's Lionsgate's full announcement of Catching Fire's triumph at the U.S. box office:

Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire became the highest-grossing film released at the domestic box office in 2013 as it grossed an estimated $493,000 last night for an estimated domestic cume to date of $409.4 million in its first 49 days of release, the Company announced today.

Catching Fire, which set records for the biggest November opening weekend of all time ($158.1 million) as well as the biggest three- and five-day Thanksgiving box office totals ever, has already become the 13th highest-grossing North American release in history and remains in wide release.  It passed the first Hunger Games film, which grossed $408 million at the domestic box office, on Tuesday and is the fifth fastest film ever to reach the $400 million mark at the domestic box office.

The success of Catching Fire marks the first time the first two installments of a franchise have each topped $400 million at the domestic box office, and both films now rank among the top 15 domestic film releases in history.  Catching Fire has also grossed $428.8 million internationally for a worldwide box office total of $838.2 million in its first seven weeks of release compared to $691 million worldwide box office generated during the entire run of the first Hunger Games film.  The Company noted that Catching Fire is the first 2D film to become the top-grossing film of the year since 2008.

“The Hunger Games franchise continues to evolve into a truly global phenomenon,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer.  “The success of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a testament to the vision of author Suzanne Collins, the sure hand of director Francis Lawrence, the brilliant performances of a remarkably talented cast led by the amazing Jennifer Lawrence and superb execution by our motion picture production, marketing and distribution teams.  We will continue to grow the transformative Hunger Gamesfranchise in the years to come even as we continue to develop a dynamic portfolio of premium new brands.”

The next two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, are currently in production for release on November 21, 2014 and November 20, 2015, respectively.

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