Tags: Catching Fire | Hunger Games

'Hunger Games' Trumps Competition

Monday, 24 November 2014 05:16 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Everyone always expected the third installment of the "Hunger Games" franchise to do well at the box office, but now "Catching Fire" has the competition running scared. In much the same way that most networks don’t want to go up against Monday Night Football, many movie studios waved the proverbial white flag once the release dates for "Mockingjay Part 1" were announced. Look at the competition in theaters right now. Can you name anything significant? No? There’s a good reason for that.

It goes back to that old adage — an 800 pound gorilla gets whatever it wants. That’s exactly what this movie is. Not only does it have a massive fan base, it has a designated bankable megastar leading the cast — an actress with crossover appeal that will bring millions to see the movie who have never read the books.

That’s not to say no other movies opened, but precious few opened wide. The vast majority saw soft openings in a relatively small number of theaters. They might expand later, but not before the Jennifer Lawrence fantasy vehicle vacuums up a ton of cash. The reasons for this are legion — but it begins and ends with one simple fact — Hunger Games leaves few demos unrepresented. See, in most cases, studios going up against a big gorilla release will often put out a film in a completely different genre — action versus RomCom, for example or cerebral suspense flick versus a kid’s film.

But the Hunger Games offers very little vulnerability here. It’s a fantasy-action-thriller starring a dynamic female lead that everyone loves. The movie also offers a subtle political undertone and a rubber stamp standard love triangle with just enough differences to keep fans engaged. Sure, it’s no think piece — it doesn’t need to be.

That’s not what people go to the movies in November for. They want big and fun and entertaining. The Hunger Games movies manage to be both marginally epic as well as taut and character-driven. Good luck with that, boys.


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Look at the competition in theaters right now. Can you name anything significant? No? There’s a good reason for that.
Catching Fire, Hunger Games
Monday, 24 November 2014 05:16 PM
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