‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Passes ‘Guardians’ at Box Office

The third film in Lionsgate’s blockbuster Jennifer Lawrence franchise has grossed $333 million domestically

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” passed “Guardians of the Galaxy” as the top-grossing movie released in 2014 at the North American box office, Lionsgate Entertainment said Thursday.

The Jennifer Lawrence sci-fi adventure has grossed more than $333.2 million since opening on Nov. 21 last year. That surpasses the $331.1 million total of Disney and Marvel’s superhero space romp, which ended 2014 as the box office leader after debuting in August.

This makes it two years in a row that Lionsgate has had the top-grossing movie, even though the haul for “Mockingjay: Part 1” was less than the earlier “Hunger Games” movies.

Also Thursday, Lionsgate set Feb. 17 as the date for release of the film’s digital high-def and Blu-Ray-digital-DVD combo pack, and March 6 for its On Demand debut.

“Catching Fire,” the previous entry in its blockbuster franchise based on Suzanne Collins’ bestselling young adult novels, was the top-grossing movie of 2013 with $425 million domestically. The original “Hunger Games” brought in $408 million in 2012.

The milestone for “Mockingjay – Part 1” is notable in that it was achieved without the benefit of 3D or an IMAX theater run. Both of those bring ticket up-charges that boost a film’s grosses, particularly overseas.

“Mockingjay – Part” has grossed $712 million worldwide, with a Feb. 8 opening in China still to come. The franchise has grossed more than $2.2 billion globally for Lionsgate, including the $865 million worldwide haul of “Catching Fire” and the $691 million of “The Hunger Games.”

The final “Hunger Games” movie, “Mockingjay – Part 2,” will be released on Nov. 20.