NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ahead of this weekend's release of the third Hunger Games movie, research firm Piper Jaffray predicted that the film would generate $150M in U.S. revenue this weekend for its maker, Lionsgate (LGF) .
WHAT'S NEW: The third movie in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, is likely to generate about $150M in ticket sales in the U.S. this weekend, Piper Jaffray analyst James Marsh wrote in a note to investors today. The previous movie in the series, Catching Fire, generated $158M in revenue in its opening weekend, but Mockingjay's reviews have been less upbeat, and it is also not being shown on IMAX screens and will face very cold weather, Marsh stated. On a positive note, if if the movie does reach the $150M revenue mark, it would be the first time ever that three consecutive movies in a series all generated $150M or more in their opening weekends, Marsh reported. He continues to expect Mockingjay to generate a total of $425M in the U.S. and $500M abroad, although he thinks the international figure could come in above that level. Marsh kept a $45 price target and Overweight rating on Lionsgate.
PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, Lionsgate was fractionally higher at $34.63.
Reporting by Larry Ramer.