LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- Katniss Everdeen may be engaged in a savage battle in "The Hunger Games," but there's little doubt about the victor in a different arena: the box office.
The film raked in $155 million in North American ticket sales in its opening weekend, according to estimates from distributor Lionsgate, making it the highest non-sequel weekend premiere ever.
It's the third best opening weekend of all time, after "The Dark Knight" ($158.4 million) and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" ($169.1 million).
The $155 million bounty beats out every "Twilight" movie. That franchise's biggest opener was "New Moon," which collected $142.8 in its opening weekend in November 2008.
"The Hunger Games" had opened strong on Friday, taking in $68.5 million domestically in its first day, a record for a non-sequel.
It's estimated that the movie grossed $59.25 million internationally in its first weekend.
"The Hunger Games," which stars 21-year-old Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone"), is based on the first novel in author Suzanne Collins' bestselling young-adult trilogy.
Unlike "Twilight," which appealed strongly to young women, "The Hunger Games" is resonating with all demographics, including males 25 and younger.
The film has also received overwhelmingly positive critical reviews.
Lionsgate, which is distributing the film, produced the movie for a little over $80 million after tax credits from North Carolina, where it was shot.
The independent studio spent $45 million to market the movie domestically, sending the young cast on an eight-city national mall tour and holding premieres in LA, New York, London, Paris and Berlin.
The film is debuting in most foreign countries this weekend, though Lionsgate sold off the movie's international distribution rights to various releasing outfits to mitigate its financial risk.
As a result, Lionsgate has recouped more than half the film's production budget, but if the movie is a big hit overseas, the studio will not reap as much of the benefits.
'Hunger Games' Posts 3rd Best Opening Weekend with $155M
The movie bested every film in the "Twilight" franchise.
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Jennifer Lawrence stars in "The Hunger Games." (Lionsgate)