If you’ve ever heard a Hollywood director talking about the new science fiction movie he’s planning, he’ll usually go out of his way to tell everyone that “oh it’s not science fiction”. The movie, of course, is sci-fi but the perception is that science fiction is just for nerds so everyone has to pretend it’s something else so that all the cool kids can show up and pretend they aren’t watching something dorky.
I have news for you America. You’re all a bunch of nerds. Prepare to be pantsed because The Hunger Games has just spent three weeks at number one on the box office charts. It’s not even close. It’s out-earning all those terrible Twilight movies, kicking the ass of Harry Potter and breathing down the neck of Avatar which, by the way, also a sci-fi movie.
The Hunger Games has now earned, in total, $302 million just in the United States alone. Like it or not cool kids, this is science fiction. And you fucking love it. It’s not that superhero science fiction or that kind of half-fantasy science fiction where technically the robots are aliens but it makes about as much sense as a unicorn (not science fiction by the way). Nope, it’s real science fiction.
Sure The Hunger Games makes a half-hearted attempt to hide it by courting girls with forbidden romance and probably far too much attention paid to pretty costumes, but this is real dystopian science fiction in the mold of (but not nearly as good as) respected novels like Fahrenheit 451 or 1984.
A week or so from now Hollywood probably will go right back to positioning sci-fi as just for dorks, at least publicly. And the cool kids shelling out money to see it would probably be shocked if you told them they were watching a movie for nerds. But they are, and someone is bound to notice. This could mean more, real science fiction, maybe even better science fiction on the horizon. Prometheus is coming later this year and Ender’s Game is coming soon. Let’s see what happens.