"The Hunger Games" - the next "Twilight?"

"Hunger Games" film premiere
CBS News

(CBS News) Get ready for the next cultural touchstone.

"The Hunger Games" is a huge best-seller in print, and it's coming to theaters at the end of the month. It's the first film based on a trilogy of books that have sold more than 16 million copies and Hollywood is hoping it's the next "Twilight" or "Harry Potter."

Last night, the stars -- and the fans -- came out in full for the film's premiere at the L.A. Live complex in downtown Los Angeles. But to score a spot alongside this red carpet, you had to camp out for days.

Early projections estimate "The Hunger Games" will make at least between $75 and $100 million its opening weekend. And that's not counting the hundreds of millions of dollars from sales of "The Hunger Games" merchandise -- everything from t-shirts, to wallets, even pillow cases.

"There's a whole ripple effect," The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Galloway said. "[It] doesn't just help a company. It also helps movie theaters, helps popcorn sales, so the whole industry's rooting for this."

Insiders say 2012 box office is off to a lackluster start and Hollywood is hungry for a hit.

"The Hunger Games" tells the story of a post apocalyptic world where teenagers are chosen by lottery to face off in a televised fight to death.

Unlike "Twilight," "The Hunger Games" will have to succeed without the help of vampires. And unlike "Harry Potter," the only magic will come from a good story, well told.

To see Kevin Frazier's full report, click on the video in the player above.