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    The Hunger Games' Opening Weekend Smaller Than Estimated: What Does That Mean?

    The Hunger Games' much-touted $155 million opening weekend was not quite that. 

    Final box-office numbers released Monday show the teen-warfare tale starring Jennifer Lawrence grossed $152.5 million.

    The markdown, however, did not jeopardize The Hunger Games' place in history—or negate Liam Hemsworth's thank-you to fans.

    MORE: Where Did Harry Potter and Twilight Rank vs. Hunger Games

    The film remains Hollywood's biggest opening nonsequel, and its third-biggest overall opener of all time, still just ahead of Spider-Man 3.

    (And, yes, it's still ahead of the Twilight movies, too. All of them.)

    The difference in the film's estimated and actual grosses was a matter of a little bit here and there adding up. The projection for Sunday's box office was the furthest from the mark: Lionsgate called for $36 million; the film ended up with $34.9 million.

    Either way, filmmaker Gary Ross, who cowrote and directed, sounded pleased.

    "We had no idea it would end up like this, but we knew we were making the movie we wanted to make," Ross said in a statement Monday. "It's really exciting to see people connect to it in this way. I'm so grateful to so many people it's impossible to express."

    In a YouTube video posted on the film's Facebook page, Hemsworth referenced the movie's international haul, which raised its weekend total to more than $200 million. 

    "Thanks for making The Hunger Games the No. 1 movie in the world," Hemsworth said.

    Elsewhere, the movie soundtrack was off to strong start, too. Two Taylor Swift tracks, "Eyes Open" and "Safe & Sound," were in iTunes' Top 20; Maroon 5's "Come Away to the Water" was in the Top 50.  

    PHOTOS: The Hunger Games Premiere

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