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Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Is A Seditious Sequel That Tops The Original

The Hunger Games Catching FireThe Hunger Games is a good enough movie. The world building in early portion is well done and engaging, but by the time get to the actual games of the title, things fall apart. At that point you have a lone girl running around the woods, trying not to die, not talking to anyone, that’s only so interesting. Suzanne Collins’ novel gets away with this, the first-person point-of-view makes you privy to the innermost thoughts of heroine Katniss Everdeen, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence. In the film she spends a fair amount of time gazing into the distance. If you’ve read the book, you know she’s thinking about Gale (Liam Hemsworth) or Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) or her sister Prim (Willow Shields), but if not, you have no idea.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, based on the second book in Collin’ trilogy, follows the same pattern, but digs much deeper, and the result is a much stronger movie. You pick up the story in the aftermath of the first film. Something eerily akin to PTSD has set in, and Katniss is jumpy, haunted by nightmares, and distant from everyone she cares about, especially Peeta, who she can barely look at. Their Victory Tour of the twelve districts of the dystopian nation of Panem reveals the embers of rebellion, which are being dealt with violently by the Capital forces of President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Gets Ready To Party In This New Clip

While there are a ton of great movies being released this month, the kind that will likely walk away with large number of various golden statutes in early 2014, the November box office race boils down to two big-time sequels. Thor: The Dark World pounded the competition in the face with a massive hammer, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will rule the latter portion of the month. The hotly anticipated follow up hits theaters next week, and we’re waist deep in the final promotional push, which includes this latest short clip.

When experts and pundits anticipate that your movie is going to bring in $150 million on its first weekend, and the early reviews have been almost entirely positive, you have to wonder how much more marketing is actually necessary. But when has that ever stopped a studio from pushing?

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The Tributes Get Down To Business In The Latest Hunger Games: Catching Fire Clip

In traditional Hollywood sequel time, it hasn’t really been all that long since the first Hunger Games showed up and established itself as the new teen box office champ. Still, the ensuing 20 months has been full of anticipation from fans, with every little detail becoming a newsworthy event. Well, the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens on November 22, and if you didn’t already feel inundated, you’re about to, including this training montage clip from the film.

In the sequel, based on the second book in Suzanne Collins’ massive selling young adult trilogy, the dastardly President Snow (Donald Sutherland) forces Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) back into the Hunger Games arena for another go round. Total dick move, but one that he hopes will quell the rebellion in the outlying districts of the nation of Panem. While this sounds like an overly elaborate way to get rid of a problem, Snow is playing a publicity game. To simply kill them outright, risks the popular figures becoming martyrs, so he has to figure out a sneakier way to go about his business.

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A Hunger Games Theme Park Could Be Coming Soon

HG theme parkThat time is almost upon us. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is due in theaters in about a week and a half. The Hunger Games is a pop culture phenomenon like few others. The young adult book and film series are the young generation’s Harry Potter, with all the spoils that come along with that title. It’s itching to be a billion dollar property, which is why Lionsgate is looking to branch out and expand the brand.

According to Variety, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed that the studio is looking to develop a Hunger Games theme park. The proposed destination would be in two domestic territories, most likely Florida on the east coast and California on the west. While Feltheimer didn’t disclose what kind of attractions would be at the proposed theme park, it begs the question; do you want to spend your vacation at a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, and dystopian theme park?

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Katniss Freaks Out In Two Hunger Games: Catching Fire Clips


Now that Thor: The Dark World is swinging his big ol’ hammer around the box office, next up on the mega-blockbuster schedule is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ post-apocalyptic, young adult trilogy. If expectations and anticipation are any indicators, this is going to be big, like all-time big. Early projections put the opening weekend numbers at somewhere in the $150 million range, which sounds ludicrous. We’re exactly two weeks away from the November 22 release—if you don’t count preview screenings and late night shows—and we have the first two clips from the film to whet our appetite.

Both clips follows a similar pattern, with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) finally realizing and coming to terms with the realities of her victory in the Hunger Games, especially as it relates to her own continued survival, and that of everyone she loves. Gale (Liam Hemsworth) looks upon this seething rebellion, just manifesting in the twelve districts of the nation of Panem, as an opportunity to finally throw off the chains of their oppressors. Katniss, on the other hand, doesn’t want to bear the weight of that responsibility, of inciting people towards what may ultimately be their deaths. Nothing good will come from those ominous military vehicles rolling in at the end.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Tracking Toward $150 Million Opening, Plus A New IMAX Poster

katniss everdeenWith The Hunger Games: Catching Fire due in theaters in less than a month, the sequel will have the best spot at the table during the Thanksgiving movie-going season. In a month that will see the release of other blockbusters such as Thor: The Dark World and Ender’s Game, Catching Fire is tracking to be far more successful, as it is now vying for the all-time highest-grossing movie for the month of November.

According to Variety, Lionsgate is tracking The Hunger Games sequel to open with a box office gross upwards of $150 million for its domestic opening. While many box office analysts feel the studio’s estimate is rather conservative, some box office watchers surmise an opening take of more than $160 million in only three days in the United States.

It’s reasonable to assume that Catching Fire will outperform the original Hunger Games‘ $152.5 million opening when you consider the first film was released in March 2012. The sequel will have the luxury of opening during Thanksgiving weekend, which is believed to be more lucrative for movie studios. At the moment, the all-time highest-grossing movie of November is The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which opened at $142.8 million in 2009.

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