by Ken Korman
Everyone expected The Hunger Games to do well, but not like this: $155 million is the official estimate for U.S. ticket sales over the weekend. That's the biggest opening weekend ever for a non-sequel, and the third-biggest overall. Only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169 million) and The Dark Night ($158 million) had better debuts. It was also the all-time biggest March opening by almost 50%.
The first Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, will be based on the second book in Suzanne Collins' trilogy. All the young stars from the first film have already signed on, as has director Gary Ross. Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) is currently writing the screenplay. Catching Fire is scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 22, 2013.
But that, apparently, is too long a wait for the Hunger Games faithful. There are dozens of fake homemade trailers for Catching Fire already available for viewing on YouTube. Many of them cobble together scenes from familiar movies and TV shows with original footage crafted by enterprising teen directors and their friends. Click here if you don't believe us, but beware of spoilers, egregious copyright infringement, and terrible acting. Actually, those are the best parts.