NEW YORK - The "Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire" opened with $161.1 million at the box office, narrowly besting the original film and setting a record for a November opening.
The result, from studio estimates Sunday, fell short of some expectations, and failed to dethrone the year's biggest box-office opening of $174 million for "Iron Man 3." But it did best the previous top November opening of $142.9 million by "Twilight Saga: New Moon."
But the bigger budget and better reviewed "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is doing far better abroad than the 2012 original. It opened with $146.6 million internationally.
The domestic total included Thursday night screenings that made approximately $25 million. The film's three-day weekend total of $136.1 million was actually less than "The Hunger Games."
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)