Katniss and Peeta - The Hunger Games movieLast week, the midnight opening of ‘The Hunger Games’ from Lionsgate Pictures broke box office records, becoming the top-grossing non-sequel midnight opening in history. At that time, predictions were that the movie, based on the young adult novel from author Suzanne Collins, would make around $130 million for the total weekend.

Now that final numbers are in, ‘Hunger Games’ has smashed expectations with an astonishing $152 million plus over the extended weekend here in in the U.S. and a total worldwide gross of $214 million. That earns ‘The Hunger Games’ a spot as the third highest-grossing opening overall. Even better… it’s the number one opening outside of the usual summer blockbuster season.

‘The Hunger Games’ was the only new movie in the top five-grossing movies for the week. The film bumped the comedy ’21 Jump Street’ down to the number two spot for the week, with only $20 million. Rounding out the top five were ‘The Lorax’ with $13 million, ‘John Carter’ with $5 million, and ‘Act of Valor’ with $2 million. So, as you can see, there was nothing even remotely close to ‘The Hunger Games’ this weekend.

Not one to let an opportunity like this pass, ABC Family has already snagged the exclusive rights to air ‘The Hunger Games’ when it makes its television premiere in 2014. Also part of that deal was the rights to the second film ‘Catching Fire’, which hasn’t even started production.

When ‘Hunger Games’ was being made, word was that Lionsgate was looking for a new franchise to rival the ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Lord of the Rings’ series and it looks like the odds were definitely ever in their favor.