Starring Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in the blockbuster series Hunger Games scored the biggest ever November debut, and the sixth best opening weekend of all time, Exhibitor Relations (ERC) said.
That beat the original 2012 Hunger Games movie starring Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a teenager forced into a deadly battle for survival in the macabre post-apocalyptic kingdom of Panem, which took $152.5 million.
Internationally the Hunger Games sequel -- the films are adapted from Suzanne Collins' trilogy of novels -- took another $146.6 million, for a combined global total of $307.7 million, Exhibitor Relations said.
The biggest ever North America box office debut was last year's The Avengers which earned $207,438,708, followed by this year's Iron Man 3 on $174,144,585, according to ERC figures.
The first Hunger Games movie saw Katniss (Lawrence) and her male friend Peeta played by Josh Hutcherson emerge as the winners of the 74th Hunger Games, a fight to the death between children organized by the evil rulers of Panem.
The latest film sees the duo fighting for their lives again while sowing the seeds of a youth rebellion, setting up the climactic showdown of the third novel Mockingjay, split into two films.
The final installment is due out in November next year.
Second place this weekend went to Thor: The Dark World, the latest movie based on Marvel's iconic comic book character, which took in $14.2 million in its third weekend, for a total of $167.9 million so far.