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Hunger Games: Catching Fire off to a huge box-office start

"Catching Fire"
Source: Lionsgate

The first numbers are in, and Lionsgate is heading into a very good weekend.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" grossed more than $25 million at the domestic box office on Thursday night—up 28 percent from the Thursday debut of the first film. And the film's international debut was even stronger—$32 million—in most markets more than double that of the first "Hunger Games" international debut.

This puts the second installment in the popular franchise well on its way to grossing as much as $170 million, which would be the biggest opening weekend ever for a 2-D film, and the second-biggest opening weekend ever for any film, including 3-D. Fandango reported that "Catching Fire" is the highest advance-ticket seller of the year, responsible for 92 percent of the tickets sold for this weekend.

(Read more: 'Catching Fire': Burning brighter than 'Hunger Games'?)