The Eastern seaboard’s deep freeze couldn’t keep away those Hunger Games fanatics determined to pay $17M in tribute to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, which began its pummeling of the box office competition Thursday night — though with less severity than its predecessors.

Despite a start more sluggish out of the gate than earlier Hunger Games installments, the third rendition of Lionsgate’s YA juggernaut remains a social media phenom. The Jennifer Lawrence-starring series measured RelishMix’s biggest Internet crater yet for a film: the adaptation collected more than 602 million clicks on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, the largest tally on record for a movie. By comparison, the original Hunger Games collected nearly 375 million clicks across the social-media universe, while Catching Fire did almost 500 million.

The franchise, which has grossed $1.5B worldwide over two pics, has always been a late-night wonder, though this iteration was slightly chilled: Catching Fire caught $25.2M in its late-night haul. The Hunger Games collected $19.7M.

Mockingjay‘s Thursday haul was easily the year’s biggest, the closest being Guardians Of The Galaxy with $11.2M. Despite weather’s havoc (the NFL had to reschedule a weekend game to Monday), forecasters put the penultimate film’s weekend estimates at $140M and above, which would make it the biggest opener of an anemic 2014 by at least $40M.

Though Lionsgate didn’t have international numbers, the studio estimated Thursday totals were up 5% over Catching Fire. Make sure to check out Nancy Tartaglione‘s Sunday international box office analyses.

More numbers as they roll in…