'The Hunger Games' continues to go from strength to strength, garnering solid reviews and big box office takings. The latest instalment, 'Mockingjay Part 1', debuted at number one on both the American and British box office charts, and looks likely to hold the top spot until 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' opens next month.

Jennifer Lawrence in 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1'
Jennifer Lawrence makes another stunning performance in 'Mockingjay Part 1'

Critics have given the film a 66% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, down from 84% for the 2012 original film and 89% for 'Catching Fire'. This is probably due to the fact that third novel 'Mockingjay' has been split into two movies, which leaves 'Part 1' sometimes feeling like a set-up to something much more exciting still to come.

More: Read our review of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1'

Indeed, the decision to make two movies from 'Mockingjay' has been highly criticised. This isn't a teen pot-boiler like 'Twilight' or a pre-teen fantasy like 'Harry Potter', both of which saw their final novels split in two halves. Suzanne Collins' 'The Hunger Games' books are seen as more literary, well-written stories that parallel the present-day in inventive ways. And having the film's cast feature award-winning actors like Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci in lead roles gives it a gravitas that other young adult franchises can only dream of.

More: Watch the trailer for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1'

Even non-glowing reviews of 'Mockingjay Part 1' have made note the high calibre performances and dark-toned storytelling, and audiences have clearly responded. After just one week, the film has brought in more than $300 million at the global box office. Some analysts have been quick to point out that this is lagging behind 'Catching Fire''s first weekend figures, but it's the biggest first-week haul of the year. And 'Mockingjay Part 1' has a couple of weeks before any real competition arrives. Meanwhile, fans are already counting down the days until 'Mockingjay Part 2' opens a year from now.