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'Hunger Games' grosses $68 million Friday, earns 'A' CinemaScore

March 24, 2012 |  9:13 am

HungerGamesMarquee
"The Hunger Games" scored the fifth-highest opening day of all time at the box office and earned a perfect score from moviegoers.

The adaptation of the best-selling book about teens battling to the death grossed $68.25 million on Friday, according to the film's distributor, Lionsgate. That puts it behind the last three "Twilight" movies and the final "Harry Potter" installment on the list of best single-day ticket sales, but ahead of such mega-hits as "The Dark Knight," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Spider-Man 3."

Just as importantly for Lionsgate, the film earned an average grade of A, according to market research firm CinemaScore. Among audiences under 18, it received a rarely rewarded A+. That means word-of-mouth should be very strong and moviegoers who weren't among the hard-core fans who rushed out opening day are more likely to turn out in the coming days.

With such a strong debut, "The Hunger Games" is now all but assured to gross at least $140 million for the full three-day weekend, with $150 million very possible.

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-- Ben Fritz

Photo: A worker installs a "Hunger Games" marquee on the billboard at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York. Credit: Don Emmert / Getty Images.

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