The Hunger Games hits the big screen at midnight, tickets selling out

Anticipation is mounting for the release of a literary phenomenon hoping for box office success. It's something both the Harry Potter books and the Twilight books have achieved in recent years. Tonight, another wildly successful book series makes the leap with The Hunger Games hitting the big screen.

Screaming fans are one predictor. Book sales in the tens of millions are another. Tonight's launch of The Hunger Games is expected to be big. "The fervor that we're seeing already for this film, certainly mimics what we saw for the very first Twilight film," said Thom Geier, Senior Editor for Entertainment Weekly.

Online ticket seller Fandango says it's already sold out more than 2,000 screenings nationwide, the most ever for a non-sequel. Fandango's "Movie Mom" Tara McNamara spoke with CNYCentral by satellite from Burbank, California this morning to talk about the hype. She says there's so much excitement, Fandango has been selling ten tickets per second.

The movie opens at midnight tonight. As of this morning, 7 of the 8 midnight showings at Carousel Center were sold out. The only tickets left were for the 12:15 p.m. show. Two of the three midnight showings were sold out at Shoppingtown. Tickets were still available at Great Northern Mall.

The film is rated PG-13, and McNamara says it's really only appropriate for those 13 and older. But it's bound to be a big hit with both kids and adults. "What we call this is basically a four quadrant movie. Moviegoers over 25 and under 25, male and female," said Paul Dergarabedian, Box Office Analyst for

The film is expected to rake in as much as $150 million on its first weekend.

Do you plan to see the movie? Did you read the books? Why do you think so many people are captivated by this story? Leave your thoughts below.