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‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ scorches home video market

Hunger Games: Catching Fire continued to post big numbers as it made its debut on retail shelves.

The Hunger Games sequel sold an estimated 3.9 million DVD and Blu-ray units in its first weekend in release, Lionsgate said on Tuesday. The original sold 3.8 million units in its first weekend.

Sales for digital copies of Catching Fire increased 40 per cent from the first film, according to Lionsgate, which did not disclose how many electronic units were sold for either movie, though the company said Catching Fire marked its biggest digital debut ever.

The opening weekend for the Jennifer Lawrence dystopian action picture generated $65 million (Dh238.7 million) in home entertainment revenue, Lionsgate said.

Blu-ray versions were more popular this time around, with the pricier format accounting for half of physical sales of Catching Fire, compared with 35 per cent of sales for the first picture.

“This is a monster opening and a tremendous result for the second film in a franchise, underscoring the enormous momentum of The Hunger Games films,” Ron Schwartz, Lionsgate’s president of home entertainment sales, said in a statement.

Promotions for the retail rollout included midnight events at Wal-Mart stores in Orange, California; Secaucus, New Jersey; and Elgin, Illinois, that featured signings by members of the movie’s cast.

At the box office, Catching Fire has grossed $424 million in ticket sales from the US and Canada, while the original Hunger Games took in $408 million. Catching Fire was last year’s highest-grossing movie domestically.

The next two movies in the series, Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 and Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2, are slated to hit theaters on November 21 this year and November 20 next year respectively.