Lionsgate have been promoting The Hunger Games brilliantly over the course of the past ten months, ever since we got our first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen last year, and it looks like their hard work could well pay off.

Deadline are reporting that the first set of tracking numbers for the film have set Hollywood abuzz today:

“With 23% ‘First Choice’ and 54% ’Definite Interest’, those are numbers every film studio can only dream about.”

Deadline’s Nikki Finke goes on to say that one rough estimate puts the first weekend’s taking potentially at $70m. or more, which means it could be opening this month even bigger than Twilight’s $69.6m. opening back in 2008.

““It’s every bit as strong As Twilight and, numerically, stronger,” one rival studio told me this morning.”

If it were to open with figures like that, it would quite possibly make it the biggest box office weekend of 2012 so far – unless Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax or John Carter open to monstrous numbers beforehand – with The Vow currently topping the year so far with just over $40m. on its Valentine’s opening last month.

Coinciding with such strong numbers, the original novels’ official Facebook page has put out the following message of endorsement from author Suzanne Collins:

“Dear Readers,

I’ve just had the opportunity to see the finished film of The Hunger Games. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I feel like the book and the film are individual yet complementary pieces that enhance one another. The film opens up the world beyond Katniss’ point of view, allowing the audience access to the happenings of places… like the Hunger Games control room and President Snow’s rose garden, thereby adding a new dimension to the story.

Director Gary Ross has created an adaptation that is faithful in both narrative and theme, but he’s also brought a rich and powerful vision of Panem, its brutality and excesses, to the film as well. His world building’s fantastic, whether it be the Seam or the Capitol. It’s amazing to see things that are suggested in the book fully developed and so brilliantly realized through the artistry of the designers.

And, my God, the actors. The cast, led by the extraordinary Jennifer Lawrence, is absolutely wonderful across the board. It’s such a pleasure to see how they’ve embodied the characters and brought them to life.

So I’d like to sincerely thank all the many people who devoted their time and talents to the film, especially producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik, and the excellent teams at Color Force, Larger Than Life, and Lionsgate.

I hope you enjoy the film!

Suzanne Collins”

So there you have it! Fans of the original film should hopefully be assured with Collins’ description of it as a faithful adaptation, “in both narrative and theme.”

The Hunger Games will be opening on 23rd March in the UK and the US, so we’re just a few weeks away from finding out just how well the advertising campaign will pay off. It should be interesting. For all our coverage of the film so far, you can click right here.