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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

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Hunger Games Fights to a $155 Million Opening

The movie sets domestic box office records.

Lionsgate Entertainment's "The Hunger Games" raked in $155 million in its opening weekend, making it the third best debut in North American box office history.

The movie, which is based off of the best-selling novel, came in third behind last year's "Harry Potter" finale and 2008's "Dark Knight," which earned $169.2 million and $158.4 million, respectively.   

"The Hunger Games" earned twice as much as the first installment of the "Twilight" movies, setting a record for a non-sequel.   

The movie also dethroned the previous March record holder, "Alice in Wonderland," which earned $116.1 million.

"The Hunger Games" is Lionsgate's highest grossing movie to date, and the production company announced that the sequel, "Catching Fire," is set to release November 22, 2013.

With the strong opening, Lionsgate Entertainment stock is up more than five percent Monday morning.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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