“Hunger Games” rakes in record sales at $155m

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“The Hunger Games,” the story of a teenage girl in a life-and-death game show in a dystopian world, dominated North American weekend box office sales, figures out Sunday show.

The movie took in $155 million in weekend ticket sales — the biggest weekend non-sequel movie opening ever, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

The movie is based on a book for young adults of the same name by Suzanne Collins. It envisions a dystopian future where death games are broadcast on live television.

The Lionsgate picture also had the third biggest movie opening ever, after last year’s final movie of the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2,” ($169 million) and the 2008 Batman movie “The Dark Knight” ($158 million).

In a distant second were the youthful policemen of 1980s remake “21 Jump Street,” which pulled in $21.3 million on its second weekend in theaters.

The film with underachieving cops Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, sent on an undercover counternarcotics mission at a high school, had a two-week haul projected to reach $71 million.

Third was the animated film “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” with a $13.1 million weekend haul and $177.4 million in the bank after four weekends on the big screen.

The animated movie about the hazards of industrialized society, featuring the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift, set a record in its debut weekend for the highest non-sequel animated film debut with $70.2 million.

Fourth was the Disney critical flop “John Carter” ($5 million), based on books by “Tarzan” author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The film, about an ex-Civil War soldier magically transported to Mars, earned $5 million.

Disney earlier announced that it expected to lose $200 million on the movie in its second fiscal quarter.

Rounding off the top 10 are “Act Of Valor” ($2 million), “Project X” ($2 million), “A Thousand Words” ($2 million), “October Baby” in its opening weekend ($1.7 million), “Safe House” ($1.4 million) and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” ($1.4 million).

Will Ferrell’s outlandish Spanish-language comedy “Casa de mi Padre,” which opened ninth for its debut last weekend, did not make into the top 10.

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