Advance tickets for Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," voted by Fandango fans as the most anticipated movie of 2013, go on sale this Tuesday, October 1 at 9:00 a.m. PT, nearly two months before the movie is released in theaters on November 22. Tickets will be available for showtimes starting at 8 PM on Thursday, November 21, as well as for special double feature screenings of "The Hunger Games" followed by "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."
"This is one of the earliest coordinated efforts where all of our theater chains are simultaneously selling tickets for an expected blockbuster, nearly eight weeks in advance," says Paul Yanover, President of Fandango. "We are working closely with Lionsgate to launch a comprehensive content and promotional program on Fandango to support our fans' most anticipated movie of the year."
As an added bonus, every "Hunger Games" fan who purchases an advanced ticket for "Catching Fire" will receive an exclusive free download of Phantogram's "Lights," a track from the upcoming original motion picture soundtrack. In addition, ticket-buyers will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes, where Fandango will give away more than 17,000 prizes including HD movie downloads of the blockbuster first installment of "The Hunger Games" franchise on Amazon Instant Video, and thousands of Fandango movie tickets.
The "Catching Fire" sweepstakes grand prize will take one lucky winner and a guest on a trip to the island of Oahu with Hawaiian Airlines to stay at the world-class Turtle Bay Resort, where the movie filmed an action scene at one of its private coves.
Also on Tuesday, Fandango will premiere an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."
ABOUT THE HUNGER GAME: CATCHING FIRE
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson). Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has sold over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.
CHINA: U.S. Director Dennie Gordon directed a trio of mainstream studio films in the early aughts without finding much box office success. Her directorial debut at the helm of a Chinese spy comedy gave her the top spot at the Chinese box office.
ITALY: Forget Formula 1, The Smurfs 2 won the head-to-head showdown against Rush in a close race.
MEXICO: Instructions Not Included posted the highest opening of all time for a domestic film, dethroning the 2011 Mexican animated release of Hannah Barbera's Top Cat. An $11.5 million debut could help the comedy beat Nosotros Los Nobles as the most successful domestic film of all time in Mexico.
UNITED KINGDOM: Rush placed first in its second weekend, but the Princess Diana biopic starring Naomi Watts couldn't come up with anything better than a mid-table debut.
The Smurfs 2 opened in 620 screens in Italy over the weekend, claiming the top spot with a $2.8 million bow. The previous installment in the franchise was released during September of 2011 with a $3.6 million premiere, going on to take $15.7 million from the market. The dip from the animated sequel's Italian premiere won't register as a big disappointment for Sony, however, considering that it defeated Ron Howard's Rush in a head-to-head box office face-off. A $2.3 million bow from 482 screens gave the F1 film a market-leading $4,941 average.
We're the Millers turned in a strong $1.1 million hold in its second weekend, a 26% drop from its opening frame. The raunchy ensemble comedy has grossed a total of $3.3 million in Italy. The Smurfs 2 took out most of the lightning from Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, as the live-action sequel dropped to fourth place in its second frame with a 55% drop from its opening weekend. The Percy Jackson sequel finished its second weekend with a $3.2 million total.
Top 10 Films in Italy. September 20-22, 2013
Instructions Not Included posted the biggest opening weekend of all time for a Mexican film in its home country. The comedy took in a massive $11.5 million in its debut. The previous record holder was the 20us11 Mexican production of Hannah Barbera's Top Cat. Instructions Not Included stars the Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez, famous for building a loyal following in the country through sitcoms in the mid-90s. The comedy has already grossed over $34 million in the United States.
Planes saw its second weekend grosses cut by 40% on the shadow of Instructions Not Included. The animated film took in $1.4 million to reach a $5.4 million total over its second frame. The Conjuring held on to a $584k weekend in its fifth frame, still managing to stay in the top spots after posting the highest opening weekend of all time for a horror film in the country. The Conjuring has grossed a total of $18.1 million.
Top 10 Films in Mexico. September 20-22, 2013