Lions Gate is feasting on The Hunger Games


Shares in the Canadian movie studio Lions Gate jumped nearly 10 per cent in pre-market trade yesterday after its new film The Hunger Games smashed box-office records by taking $155m (£98m) in its opening weekend in America.

Analysts said the futuristic thriller had the highest-grossing opening weekend of any "non-sequel" movie.

Only two other films have had a bigger US opening weekend – last year's Harry Potter finale on $169m and the 2008 Batman movie The Dark Knight with $158m – but both were existing franchises. The Hunger Games also topped the UK box office with £4.85m in revenues.

The film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson, is about a teenager who has to compete in a televised death match.

The success will be a big boost for Nasdaq-listed Lions Gate. Its shares have risen by nearly a third in the six weeks leading up to the film's debut as the buzz around The Hunger Games began to mount, aided by a big marketing campaign on social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube. However, by yesterday afternoon trade, its shares were up just 2 per cent at $14.85 amid profit taking.