Audiences' 'Hunger' is beginning to be quenched.

The Gary Ross adaptation of Suzanne Collins novel debuted at Midnight this morning to a whopping $19.7 million at the box office. Pre-polling and Friday matinees indicate "Hunger Games" should finish somewhere between $135-140 million for a staggering franchise debut.

That makes "The Hunger Games" one of the top 10 Midnight openers of all time placing no. 7 just ahead of "The Dark Knight" which found $18.5 million in 2008.   That also puts it behind "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's" $22.3 million at no. 6.  "Twilight" fans can also take solace that The last three films in that teen-fueled franchise, "New Moon," "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1" all had larger Midnights and rank 2nd, 3rd and 4th on the all-time list.  What's truly noteworthy, however, is "Hunger Games" is the largest non-sequel debut on the midnight list a triumph that should place it in the top 10 all-time weekend debuts as well.

"The Hunger Games" is also benefiting from strong reviews.  It has an impressive 68 on Metacritic (with just one negative review out of 36) and a strong 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.  A sequel, "Catching Fire," is already scheduled for Nov. 22, 2013.

Look for continuing box office updates all weekend long on HitFix.

For interviews, photos, movie clips and more on "The Hunger Games," click here.