THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Rakes in $25.2 Million on Opening Night; Could Hit More than $160 Million Opening Weekend

by     Posted 148 days ago

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There was no question The Hunger Games: Catching Fire would be a big hit.  The only question was how big since it didn’t have a 3D boost, but it did have IMAX.  Variety reports the highly-anticipated and well-reviewed sequel earned $25.2 million from domestic opening night screenings, and is now on track for a $160 million weekend.  If it surpasses that number it will break the record for biggest opening weekend for a 2D movie (a record currently held by The Dark Knight Rises, which opened to $160.9 million).  If Catching Fire sticks to analyst predictions, it should handily take the record for biggest November opening, which currently belongs to The Twilight Saga: New Moon.  That’s what happens when your movie has crossover appeal.

While 2012′s The Hunger Games has the record for biggest opening weekend in March ($152 million), it looks like the Thanksgiving weekend will be a comfortable home for the franchise for the next couple of years.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is set for November 21, 2014 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is due out on November 20, 2015.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Review

by     Posted 149 days ago

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Early in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the villainous President Snow (Donald Sutherland) reminds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) that the Hunger Games were just a game.  Her real fear should be a war that will rain down hell on all of the districts if she continues to be a symbol to the downtrodden.  To both its credit and its detriment, Francis Lawrence‘s sequel shares those values.  The fear and excitement has left the arena and spread to the streets, and returning to a different arena almost feels safe by comparison.  The adaptation is a slight improvement on the book (mostly by avoiding author Suzanne Collins‘ poor prose and stilted dialogue), but also has the same structural weakness of taking the characters to familiar confines albeit with different players and hazards.  Nevertheless, the central core of the story remains strong and skillfully eschews the traditional heroine in favor of a scared puppet who can only summon her strength in certain situations.  It’s a confined character that can’t take full advantage of its actress’ immense talent, but as the movie reminds us, sometimes sacrifice is necessary for the greater good.

Sam Claflin & Jena Malone Talk THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Why It’s So Popular, Expanding the World and Characters in the Sequel, and More

by     Posted 149 days ago

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Opening this weekend in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger GamesCatching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Liam HemsworthJosh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Claflin and Malone.  They talked about what makes The Hunger Games so popular around the world, how Catching Fire expands the world and the characters, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Francis Lawrence Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Inheriting the Cast, Deleted Scenes, MOCKINGJAY Parts 1 and 2, and More

by     Posted 151 days ago

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Opening this weekend in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger GamesCatching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Liam HemsworthJosh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Lawrence. He talked about inheriting the cast that Gary Ross assembled, whether he was nervous about making Catching Fire, the length of his assembly cut, deleted scenes, and the shooting schedule for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 (he reveals they’ve already shot five weeks on the sequels).  Hit the jump to watch.

Sesame Street Takes on THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE with THE HUNGRY GAMES: CATCHING FUR

by     Posted 152 days ago

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If you think The Hunger Games: Catching Fire might be a bit too violent for the young children in your family, perhaps the Sesame Street version would be more their speed.  Spoofing the upcoming action sequel, the educational TV show has put together a five-minute short that entertains fans of the book series (and puns in general), while taking some time to teach kids about pattern recognition.

Opening this weekend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.  Crumby Pictures’ The Hungry Games: Catching Fur stars Cookie Monster as Cookiness Evereat.  Who turns in the best performance?  Hit the jump to find out.

Liam Hemsworth & Woody Harrelson Talk THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Why It’s So Popular Around the World, What They Collect, and More

by     Posted 154 days ago

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Opening on November 22nd in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Liam Hemsworth, Josh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Hemsworth and Harrelson.  They talked about what makes The Hunger Games so popular around the world, deleted scenes, what they collect, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE – New TV Spot and Clip

by     Posted 156 days ago

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is only a week away from opening stateside, so if you’re not already planning on going, there’s not much we can do to convince you at this point.  Perhaps the newly released clip and TV spot will help sway you if you’re on the fence.  Both spots give a nice look at the style, tone and level of action in the film, which continues the feel of the original while bumping everything up a notch.

Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, Donald Sutherland, and Amanda Plummer.  Hit the jump to watch the latest TV spot and clip for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which opens November 22nd.

Jennifer Lawrence & Josh Hutcherson Talk THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Why It’s So Popular, What They Collect, and More

by     Posted 157 days ago

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Opening on November 22nd in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Josh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Lawrence and Hutcherson.  They talked about what it was like working with Francis Lawrence, what makes The Hunger Games so popular around the world, being in the center of the promotional whirlwind, what they collect, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Atlanta Readers: Win Passes to See THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

by     Posted 158 days ago

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A few weeks ago, I was at a screening, and the person behind me tapped me on the shoulder to ask if we were going to give away passes to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  I said, “Maybe,”; now I can say “Definitely”, and I’m willing to bet that gentleman isn’t the only one excited for this movie.  I really enjoyed Gary RossThe Hunger Games, but now the franchise faces a new challenge by having to work with a different director (I Am Legend’s Francis Lawrence) and a weaker novel (it’s widely agreed that it peaks halfway through).  Still, the trailers have been encouraging, the plot is solid, and I have high expectations for this sequel.

We’re going to be giving away ten pairs of passes to the Atlanta screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  The screening will also be live streaming the red carpet from the Los Angeles premiere, brought to you by Subway.  Hit the jump to find out how you can see the movie early and for free.  It opens wide in regular theaters and IMAX on November 22nd.

Disney Planning to Bring STAR WARS Attractions to Parks Worldwide; Lionsgate Considering THE HUNGER GAMES Theme Park

by     Posted 162 days ago

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Today in theme park news (very weird to write that), we have a couple stories to report.  First up, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger recently talked about Star Wars.  In addition to saying they decided to release Star Wars: Episode VII in December 2015 to give the filmmakers more time (neglecting to mention that the studio refused a 2016 date), he also spoke about the company’s theme park plans.  Unsurprisingly, fans should expect more Star Wars attractions at Disney’s domestic theme parks as wells as the studio’s parks in Paris, Tokyo, and possibly Hong Kong.  I look forward to the ride where they reveal your biological father.

Hit the jump to learn about Lionsgate possibly getting into the theme park business with the Hunger Games franchise.

New Clip from THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE: “This Trip Doesn’t End When You Get Back Home”

by     Posted 164 days ago

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The first clip from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire found its way online earlier today.  Since it found its way after premiering on The Tonight Show, Lionsgate released another scene on the Hunger Games Facebook page and bills it as the official first Catching Fire clip.  Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) gives a Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a reality check about their role as public figures under the watchful eye of President Snow (Donald Sutherland):

“This trip, girl, wake up!  This trip doesn’t end when you get back home.  You never get off this train.  You two are mentors now.  From now on, your job is to be a distraction so people forget what the real problems are.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22.  Watch the clip after the jump.

First Clip from THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth

by     Posted 164 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first clip from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  The story finds President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) forces past victors to compete against each other.  You can see from the clip that new director Francis Lawrence has taken a decidedly different than The Hunger Games helmer Gary Ross, at least as far as the drama scenes are concerned.  Where Ross used a more naturalistic approach in District 12, Lawrence has gone with a steadier camera and a cold color palette.  It will be interesting to see how he approaches the rest of Panem.

Hit the jump to check out the clip. The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda PlummerThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22nd in traditional theaters and IMAX.

Excellent New IMAX Poster for THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

by     Posted 171 days ago

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Lionsgate has released a new IMAX poster for director Francis Lawrence’s upcoming sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and it’s pretty fantastic.  The adaptation of the second novel in author Suzanne CollinsHunger Games trilogy centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  While IMAX posters are normally a bit more artistically ambitious than theatrical posters, this Catching Fire one is the best I’ve seen in a long while.  Drawing on the work of Kris Kuksi, the one-sheet does an excellent job of capturing the socio-political themes of the story.

Hit the jump to take a look at the poster.  The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Jena Malone, Liam HemsworthSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22nd in traditional theaters and IMAX.

Final Trailer for THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

by     Posted 174 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the final trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  I’m sure the TV spots will probably have a little new footage, but this trailer gives us good pieces of the new arena, but also doesn’t forget to sell the major conflict, which is between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and President Snow (Donald Sutherland).  It’s almost entirely summed up in the shot where points an arrow at the sky and lets it fly.  Ultimately, this does what every good trailer should do: shows off some good stuff, but doesn’t give away anything major.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthSam ClaflinJena MaloneElizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda PlummerThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22nd.

Julianne Moore Talks CARRIE, How She Hates Watching Herself on Screen, the Popularity of THE HUNGER GAMES, and More

by     Posted 184 days ago

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If you’re looking for a horror fix this October, then MGM and Screen Gems has you covered with Kimberly Peirce’s new adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel Carrie.  For those unfamiliar with the story, it centers on a bullied teenage girl (played by Chloe Grace Moretz) who discovers that she has telekinetic powers and decides to dish out retribution against her tormentors including her abusive mother (played by Julianne Moore).  For more on the film, watch the first clip, check out a bunch of new images with a cool viral video, and read Adam’s 25 things to know from his set visit and his interviews with MoretzPeirce, and Judy Greer.

A few days ago, I got to speak with Julianne Moore in Los Angeles.  She talked about what her friends and family thought about her taking on the role, how she hates watching herself on screen but will watch playback on set, the popularity of The Hunger Games and how her family has read the books (she plays Alma Coin in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and 2), and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

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