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Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson a[ppear in a still from The Hunger Games. - Provided courtesy of OTRC / Lionsgate / Murra Close

'The Hunger Games' tops Friday box office with $68.3 million

03/24/2012 by Olivia Allin

The highly-anticipated "The Hunger Games" landed at the top of Friday's box office, earning $68.3 million.

The Lionsgate film is on track to earn a record-breaking $140 million in its opening weekend. Friday's box office number includes its record-breaking midnight opening of $19.75 million and marks the best opening day ever for a non-sequel. It is also the 5th highest opening and the highest March opening ever.

In the film, Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, a young woman who lives in a post-apocalyptic future where a boy and girl from various districts are chosen and taken to a massive area where they must survive and fight to death. This annual event, dubbed The Hunger Games, takes place in front of cameras, who broadcast their every move to viewers.

The film is an adaptation of the best-selling young adult novel "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins is slated to hit theaters on March 23, 2012. It also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and Lenny Kravitz.

The movie opened in 4,137 theaters and marks the biggest movie opening ever for the Lionsgate studio, which recently bought Summit Entertainment, the studio responsible for "The Twilight Saga" franchise.

Coming in second place in Friday's box office was last week's winner, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill's buddy cop comedy "21 Jump Street." The flick earned another $6.2 million on Friday, for an estimated cume of $69.9 million.

Also in the running were "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," followed by "John Carter," and "Project X," which earned another $3.2 million, $1.3 million and $625,000 respectively on Friday.

Landing sixth in the box office was this week's other release, "October Baby," which follows a young woman who discovers she is the adopted survivor of an attempted abortion. The film opened in 398 theaters and earned $595,000 on Friday.

Watch a trailer for "The Hunger Games" and "October Baby" below.

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