We knew it'd be big—but just how big did Hunger Games open?

It's not often that a film manages to live up to the hype surrounding it (cough, John Carter), but it seems The Hunger Games did that and more, breaking box office records this weekend. So just how big was it?

Pretty darn big. The sci-fi actioner had the third-best opening weekend of all time, raking in $155 million in the U.S. alone. As a point of reference, the film beat out every installment in the young-adult film franchise Twilight and destroyed fellow big-budget sci-fi film John Carter, which mustered only $30.6 million at the domestic box office.

Though The Hunger Games rocked stateside, the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' novel did not prove a monster hit in other parts of the world, but it did net a respectable $59.3 million, for a total of $214.3 million.

The only two films to do better on opening weekend? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169.2 million) in summer 2011, and The Dark Knight in July 2008 ($158.4 million). Not a bad list to make, that's for sure.

In addition to the huge opening, experts predict The Hunger Games could also have one of the best overall box office runs in history, riding a wave of mass appeal and positive word of mouth. The Hollywood Reporter says the film could eventually make between $350 million and $400 million, potentially edging out the hit Harry Potter and Twilight franchises.

"The numbers just kept growing and growing," Lionsgate executive VP of distribution David Spitz said. "And based on the trajectory of the weekend, we are going to have an unbelievable hold. We are going to play and play."

Sound off: Did you see The Hunger Games this weekend? Did it live up to the hype?

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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