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Fans Ravenous For ‘Hunger Games’ At Midnight Showings

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Young fans of the "Hunger Games" waited in line for hours to see the midnight premier of the highly anticipated film. (CBS)

Young fans of the “Hunger Games” waited in line for hours to see the midnight premier of the highly anticipated film. (CBS)

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OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS/AP) – First “Harry Potter,” then “Twilight.” Now, it’s “The Hunger Games.”

The new big book-to-movie craze hit theaters at midnight Friday, and scores of fans waited in line to be the first to see the highly anticipated film. It’s an action-packed tale of teens battling for their lives, honor, and for the survival of the districts they call home.

CBS 2’s Pamela Jones talked with fans outside Oak Park’s Lake Theatre, who had been waiting for hours to get in to the midnight showing.

The teens were rooting for Katniss, the hero of the young-adult novel.

“She’s really modest and caring,” one girl told Jones.

Fans are so hungry for “The Hunger Games” that Hollywood’s buzzing about an opening weekend to rival the $140 million debuts of some of the “Twilight” movies.

Early tracking pegged “The Hunger Games” at only about half that much. But box-office forecasters have been continually revising their predictions upward based on audience awareness and advance ticket sales.

Opening Friday, “The Hunger Games” has a strong shot at shattering the record March debut of $116.1 million domestically for 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland.” It would be only the second movie opening in March to top $100 million in the first weekend.

“The Hunger Games” may have an edge, too. Female fans drive “Twilight,” while “The Hunger Games” has strong interest from both sexes.

A debut of $140 million would put “The Hunger Games” into the top-five on the all-time charts for domestic opening weekends.

At No. 1 is last year’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ ($169.2 million), followed by 2008’s “The Dark Knight” ($158.4 million); 2007’s “Spider-Man 3″ ($151.1 million); 2009’s “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” ($142.8 million); and last fall’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1″ ($138.1 million).

Based on the first of three best-sellers by Suzanne Collins, “The Hunger Games” stars Jennifer Lawrence as a teenager hurled into a televised fight to the death among other youths in post-apocalyptic North America.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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