'Hunger Games' and 'Twilight' duel for opening grosses

'Hunger Games' strives to beat the 'Twilight' opening weekend record – but it's all going to the same movie studio anyway.

'Hunger Games' and 'Twilight' are from the same studio, so despite rivalry between fans, the movies' grosses go to the same place.

There is a fake war brewing between fans of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and fans of Suzanne CollinsHunger Games trilogy, and the fate of entire worlds, universes, random chat threads across the Internet hang in the balance. The fake war in question will be waged by Oscar-nominated director Gary Ross’ big screen adaptation of The Hunger Games, and Oscar-winning director Bill Condon’s two-part finale to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn.

We now have early reconnoissance reports stating that Hunger Games has gained some tactical financial ground, as early projections are that the film will break…er, Breaking Dawn – Part 1‘s opening weekend numbers.

THR reports the so-called “shocker” that Hunger Games is currently tracking to have a bigger late March opening than Breaking Dawn – Part 1‘s $138.1 million debut back in November 2011. The Hunger Games started racking up opening weekend projections a few weeks back, when we reported that the film had sold more advanced tickets than Twilight Saga: Eclipse; since that time, the profit predictions have only gone upward – a rarity in the film business.

If predictions hold true, Hunger Games would blow the original Twilight‘s $69 million opening weekend out of the water, and could come close to, or even best, New Moon‘s $142 million debut. Of course, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn – Part 1 were all sequel films, while The Hunger Games is an untested film property – making these lofty predictions even more surprising. We here at Screen Rant were even skeptical about whether the Hunger Games marketing campaign had done enough to attract the wider audience who weren’t already fans of the books. Apparently that skepticism was misplaced.

Of course, this fake war between Twilight and Hunger Games is just what the term would imply: it’s fake. Lionsgate owns the rights to The Hunger Games movie(s) and Summit Entertainment owns the rights to the Twilight movies – and earlier this year, Lionsgate and Summit merged into one studio, ostensibly brining both HG and TS under one roof. All the money on these big franchises now flows the same way.

More to the point: these movies based on popular Young Adult novels tend to appeal to the same crowds – those who like stories about teens thrown into fantastical situations / love triangles with sensitive, brooding men. Both have strong(ish) female protagonists, familiar genre tropes, etc…

…Bottom line: their similarities are stronger than their differences, and both will be cash-cows for Summit/Lionsgate.

Kofi Outlaw blogs at Screen Rant.

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