• Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence (Photo : Reuters)

Debuting with $123 million, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1" ranked number one at the weekend box office from United States and Canadian theaters, followed by "Big Hero 6" with $20.1 million and "Interstellar" with $15.1 million, New York Daily News reported.

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Internationally, the recent "Hunger Games" installment earned $152 million over the weekend, which accounts for a $275-million global opening in total.

On the other hand, the Lionsgate film franchise opening is lower than the original 2012 film "The Hunger Games" with $153-million opening and the 2013 film "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" with $158 million debut.

Still, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1" nabbed the top weekend of 2014 from "Transformers: Age of Extinction" with a $100-million debut.

"It's the biggest opening of the year, so it really illustrates the strength of the franchise," Lionsgate head of distribution David Spitz said.

In terms of Wall Street's reaction to the North American opening and the effect of splitting Suzanne Collins's third and final book in two, Spitz simply said, "It speaks for itself."

The second part of "Mockingkay" is set to be released in Nov. 2015, according to CBS News.

Box-office tracker Rentrak senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said that "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1" opening is "still an astonishing feat."

Directed by Francis Lawrence, the first part of "Mockingjay" stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Willow Shields, Sam Clafin, Elizabeth Banks and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, among others.

Other films that made it to the top 10 of the recent weekend box office are "Dumb and Dumber To" with $13.8 million, "Gone Girl" with $2.8 million, "Beyond the Lights" with $2.6 million, "St. Vincent" with $2.4 million, "Fury" with $1.9 million, "Birdman" with $1.9 million and "The Theory of Everything" with $1.5 million.