'Hunger Games' Racks Up Huge Advance Ticket Sales

" The Hunger Games" doesn't open until Friday, but it's already raking in big bucks. 

  The Hollywood Reporter said that by Wednesday afternoon, the film had racked up $15 million in advance ticket sales for screenings at AMC Entertainment, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark theaters.

In addition, Fandango.com reports "The Hunger Games" is the company's top-selling franchise opener of all time, with more than 2,000 show times already sold-out. The film is Fandango's top ticket-seller of the year to date.

The movie has also cracked Fandango's ranking of the top five all-time advance ticket sellers, surpassing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1? and "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" to grab the number four spot.

Fandango expects "The Hunger Games" to move ahead of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1? by Thursday morning to claim the number three spot on its list of all-time advance ticket sellers.

Hollywood.com Box Office President Paul Dergarabedian expects the film to have a huge opening weekend, saying it could hit the $145 million mark, which would rank it among the best opening weekends ever.

Last July's opening of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2? holds the record for the best opening weekend with $169.2 million.

Dergarabedian says the one thing "The Hunger Games" has going for it that movies didn't have five to ten years ago is Twitter and Facebook. Dergarabedian says social networking, however, is a double-edged sword for movies. It can create lots of positive buzz, but "if Friday tweets say the movie is terrible, then Saturday's box office goes down."

He says "The good news for 'The Hunger Games' is that it's a really good movie. And I think all the tweeting, all the facebooking will be very, very positive."