Jennifer Lawrence Leads Hollywood's Next Wave of 'It' Girls

VIDEO: Jennifer Lawrence plays "Katniss," a young heroine fighting for her life.
ABCNEWS.com

Move over Kristen Stewart, there's a new Hollywood "it" girl in town, and her name is Jennifer Lawrence.

Lawrence's new movie, "The Hunger Games," earned $155 million its opening weekend, putting it at the top of the record books, right behind the "Harry Potter" finale's $169.2 million opening last year and the $158.4 million opening of 2008's "The Dark Knight." Of course, those were well-established franchises. For a nonsequel, "The Hunger Games" set a revenue record, taking in more than twice what the first "Twilight" movie did with its $69.6 million opening.

That certainly puts Lawrence in the company of "Harry Potter" star Emma Watson and "Twilight" star Stewart. Think of Lawrence as the new Kristen Stewart, but with Oscar cred.

The Kentucky native landed an Oscar nomination for her first lead actress role in "Winter's Bone," the 2010 movie that put her in the spotlight. She first lit up the big screen in 2008, playing Kim Basinger's daughter in "The Burning Plain," a role which earned her the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young emerging actor/actress at the Venice Film Festival.

Making the decision to move up to blockbuster status wasn't an easy one, however. After landing the lead role of Katniss Everdeen in the movie adaptation of author Suzanne Collins' wildly popular teen novel series, Lawrence took three days to make her decision.

Click here to see stars of "Hunger Games"

"It was a huge decision that I felt just couldn't be made in the phone call," Lawrence told "Good Morning America." "There are not a lot of decisions you make that will change your life forever and it will never go back. I didn't know if I was ready for my life to veer in this direction yet. But ultimately, I love the script, I love the character, the books and the director."

Poised to become an icon, Lawrence said she's "ready as you can be" for the fame.

"There's no way to prepare for people screaming in your face, in a good way," she said. "It's a weird thing to adjust to."

Lawrence can compare notes with Hollywood's other "it" girls. Click through to see the latest crop:

PHOTO: Jessica Chastain arrives at the Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) at The Royal Opera House on Feb.12, 2012 in London, England.
Mike Marsland/Getty Images
Jessica Chastain

Chastain was an awards season darling, scoring Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her role as a depressive, determined housewife in "The Help." She also won over critics circles with her supporting role in the Oscar-nominated "Tree of Life." It's not just her acting that's gotten the 30-year-old, California native noticed. The Alexander McQueen gown she wore to the Oscars landed her on nearly every best dressed list the morning after the show. Next up for Chastain: "The Wettest Country in the World," a Prohibition-era drama slated for release later this year.

PHOTO: Elizabeth Olsen is pictured during an interview with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show Feb. 29, 2012.
Paul Drinkwater/NBC/Getty Images
Elizabeth Olsen

After her breakout performance in "Martha Marcy May Marlene," the most buzzed about movie at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Olsen went from being an associated act (she's the younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen) to a star in her own right. She won a slew of critics circle awards for her role as a cult escapee. The 23-year-old actress has stuck to her indie film roots with her more recent projects, too. She promoted "Liberal Arts," her new film with "How I Met Your Mother's" Josh Radnor, at Sundance this year.

PHOTO: Rooney Mara arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
Steve Granitz/Getty Images
Rooney Mara

Mara first caught the attention of Hollywood with her small but pivotal role in 2010's "The Social Network." It was enough to convince director David Cincher to hire her for his next film, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," for which she underwent a dramatic transformation, complete with piercing, hair bleaching and tattoos, to play vengeful computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. The role, which involved two disturbing rape scenes, earned the 26-year-old Mara an Oscar nomination this year.

PHOTO: Emma Stone attends the Museum of Modern Art's 4th Annual Film benefit "A Tribute to Pedro Almodovar" at the Museum of Modern Art in this Nov. 15, 2011 file photo in New York City.
Eugene Gologursky/WireImage/Getty Images
Emma Stone

Stone, 23, proved in 2011 that she has both comedic and dramatic chops, with star turns in "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and "The Help." She received a Screen Actors Guild award for the latter and a People's Choice Award for the former. And, as if she couldn't get any bigger, Stone will play Spider-Man's love interest Gwen Stacy opposite Andrew Garfield in this year's tentpole picture, "The Amazing Spider-Man."

PHOTO: Adepero Oduye arrives at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, Calif.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Adepero Oduye

After the shout-out Meryl Streep gave her at the Golden Globes, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood discovered Adepero Oduye. Streep was recalling one of the "extraordinary performances by women" she'd seen in 2011, a phrase echoed by critics when talking about 34-year-old Oduye's performance as a girl half her age in the independent lesbian coming-of-age drama "Pariah." After "Pariah," Oduye, who graduated pre-med from Cornell but begin to pursue acting after her dad died ("It was a wake-up call"), signed with ICM. Next up, Oduye will star alongside Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad in the Lifetime remake of "Steel Magnolias."

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