Believe the hype.
The International Movie Database (IMDB) reported Friday that, counting only the tickets from its midnight showings, "The Hunger Games" has already earned $19.7 million domestically. The figure establishes a new record for highest-grossing revenue for the midnight opening of a non-sequel.
"The movie adaptation of author Suzanne Collins' action books, starring Jennifer Lawrence as heroine Katniss Everdeen, had already made $15 million in advance ticket sales, and it drew huge crowds as fans lined up outside theatres across the country to get a first look at the film upon its release in the early hours of Friday. The big opening also rockets 'The Hunger Games' into seventh place in the list of top midnight grosses."
The six films that grossed more money than "The Hunger Games" via midnight openings are all sequels:
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" ($43.5 million)
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1" ($30.3 million)
"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" ($30.1 million)
"The Twilight Sage: New Moon" ($26.3 million)
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" ($24 million)
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" ($22.2 million)1 comment on this story
The Deseret News is comprehensively covering the release of "The Hunger Games."
Aaron Shill detailed what parents should expect to see in the film
Laura Marostica examined how movie violence affects children
Doug Wright recommended finishing the book before seeing the film