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Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF)’s “The Hunger Games” had $68.3 million in sales yesterday, the fifth-best single-day gross ever, according to Hollywood.com Box Office.
The movie is expected to earn $125 million to $135 million this weekend, analysts estimated. Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com’s Box-Office division, said the film may have a take of about $140 million for Friday through Sunday, which would place it among the top five all-time opening weekends.
“Hunger Games” has been the subject of a marketing blitz that included a collector’s edition of People magazine, an eight-city mall tour by its stars and ticket giveaways on websites from Access Hollywood to Yahoo.com.
The action thriller’s receipts yesterday included $19.7 million in midnight screenings, Hollywood.com said in an e- mailed statement. Imax Corp. (IMAX) had $4.4 million in sales, its biggest domestic opening this year.
The film, about children battling to the death on live television, opened in 4,137 theaters, Lions Gate said.
Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” holds the record for the best single-day opening, with $91.1 million in July 2011. The same film posted the best-ever opening weekend with $169.2 million.
Shares of Lions Gate, a Vancouver-based independent film and TV studio, fell 2 cents to $14.53 in New York trading yesterday. The stock is up 75 percent year to date.
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