The Hunger Games was a huge success.
Not only financially – blowing away the competition with over $155 million in box office receipts – but critically as well. It’s no surprise that Lionsgate immediately greenlit the sequels Catching Fire and Mockingjay to begin shooting as soon as possible.
There are those who feel that The Hunger Games is a violent tragedy, which shouldn’t be shown to children, hence the PG-13 rating. Well trust me, the next two novels are even darker.
You think that sending twenty-four children into an arena to fight to the death is “dark?” Add in some civil war, nuclear devices, suicide to save someone else’s life, murdering a huge group of children, brainwashing and a whole bunch of other things and you get the next two novels.
Lionsgate has toyed with the idea of separating each novel into two more films, vaguely reminiscient of that other teen series, Twilight. In this case, Panem fans will have four more films to look forward to.
This idea is both good and bad: for one, the first film was a bit too long for many people, and they cut out a bunch of plot points and character development.
I think that Catching Fire can very well be turned into one film. Author Suzanne Collins’ writing style is incredibly addictive. It is also, however, incredibly repetitive.
Mockingjay, however, needs to see the two-film treatment. Too much of the novel is character enrichment, parts where characters are simply silent and thinking, important pieces of dialogue that not only further the story along but also build the character to become someone real.
The Hunger Games trilogy is an action read, for sure, but what makes us feel for the characters are all of those smaller bits of humanity. And if a film rushes through those key points, then we’re left watching Transformers – we won’t care at all about who’s dying onscreen.
No matter which way Lionsgate goes, the next films are sure to be a huge box office draw. Let’s just hope that they’re as good as the first one.