By Bill Wine

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a very busy weekend at multiplexes, thanks to one big new movie.

As expected, movie audiences were hungry and game for The Hunger Games. The teen epic, a science fiction action drama, based on the best-seller, featuring emerging star Jennifer Lawrence, lived up to its billing by earning an estimated $155-million on its spectacular debut weekend.

READ: Bill Wine’s Review Of The Hunger Games
READ: Fans Line Up For Midnight Showing Of The Hunger Games

That is the third-highest opening-weekend total in movie history, behind only The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, which makes it the biggest March opening ever as well as the biggest opening ever for a non-sequel.

Last weekend’s leader, 21 Jump Street, claimed a distant second place by taking in another $21-million. And animated returnee Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax was third with $13-million.

Thanks to The Hunger Games, the young year’s first event movie, industry-wide totals were up a whopping 78 percent from a year ago.

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