The Hunger Games trade: Follow the money

|By:, SA News Editor

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens nationally today with expectations running high that the movie will deliver a smashing box office haul. (Previous: Buzz and reviews)

Theater operators (CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI) will carve off little revenue pieces here and there while IMAX (IMAX +0.3%) should see a windfall with early reviews saying it's a "must-see" in the IMAX format.

Comcast (CMCSA)-property Fandago has seen enormous traffic and interest this week which will help Q4 subscriber totals.

Also: Don't forget about books. The timing of the Catching Fire release could help Scholastic (SCHL +0.6%) see booming holiday sales for the Hunger Games book series.

Movie studio Lions Gate (LGF +1.8%) is the proud owner of the vibrant franchise and stands to gain the most. Global audiences are likely to take their cues from the U.S. and an opening at +$175M is hard to ignore. It also has Divergent waiting in the wings with the same low-cost, high-teenager appeal formula.