The Hunger Games Very Hungry For Hype

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson: stars of the upcoming The Hunger Games.

Have you seen stuff about The Hunger Games? How could you not? The trailer has been showing in theatres these past few months. Magazines have been having cover stories and even special commemorative issues to do about it, even though it doesn’t open until three days from now. Movie shows both on television and Youtube are all abuzz about it. This is the latest movie hypefest, and for good reason.

The Hunger Games is based on a popular young adult novel by Suzanne Collins released in 2008. It has since sold over 1 million copies and has been translated in 26 languages. The first novel has spawned off two more subsequent novels Catching Fire and Mockingjay: all part of what’s known as The Hunger Games trilogy.

The film version of the novel finally hits the big screen this weekend and already boasts an impressive line-up. First up is 21 year-old Jennifer Lawrence who plays Katniss. She is most famous on television for The Bill Engvall Show but her film career has taken off in the past couple of years with roles in Winter’s Bone, which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and for X-Men: First Class. Peeta will be played by 19 year-old Josh Hutcherson who has had an impressive acting career as a child with movies like Zathura and Bridge To Terabithia and has continued success as a young adult in The Kids Are All Right. Gale will be played by22 year-old Liam Hemsworth. He’s best known as the younger brother of Chris Hemsworth but Liam has a resume of his own with television experience in Australia and movie experience in the US with The Last Song.

The movie also has supporting roles played by some well-established adult actors like Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland. The movie is directed by Gary Ross, most notable for directing Pleasantville and Seabiscuit. There’s lots of pressure for this movie to succeed as the success of the first movie should tell a lot about the future of the next two sequels. Hollywood is already expecting this to be the next hit movie series. And let’s face it.  The Harry Potter series is finished. The Lord Of The Rings series is history with one last Hobbit movie to come. Twilight has its last movie to come, hence its own twilight within a year. James Bond movies aren’t exactly one for the young clique. So this Hunger Games is seen as the next big movie series to propel the box office.

So far the hype seems to be paying off. The pre-sale tickets for the opening weekend have been on sale since February 22nd and has already sold almost 2000 shows in advance, a record according to the Huffington Post. Even the first Twilight movie’s pre-sales weren’t that high. The actual opening weekend total is still in question and to be determined this Sunday. Experts run the gamut over predicting the opening weekend to be anywhere from $85 million to $140 million. It could be possible to set an opening weekend record but it would be a bit of a surprise since March isn’t the best month for setting opening weekend records: the summer months are. So far the biggest opening weekend for a March movie is 2010’s Alice In Wonderland with $116.1 million: the tenth-highest opening weekend ever. Anyways for those keeping Box Office score, here are the records to focus on, according to Box Office Mojo:

  • Biggest Opening Weekend (All-Time): Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – $169.2 million
  • Biggest Total Gross (All-Time): Avatar – $760.5 million (U.S.)/ $2.782 billion (Worldwide)

So hang tight folks. The Hunger Games open Friday. Let the games–both The Hunger Games and the Box Office Games– begin!

UPDATE: I saw the movie and here’s my review!

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