THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 – What Did You Think?

by     Posted 14 hours ago

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The time has come.  What’s bound to be the highest earner of 2014 is now in theaters.  As someone who’s very familiar with Suzanne Collins’ source material and has read Mockingjay quite a few times, I’ve been well aware that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was going to be the biggest challenge of the film franchise.  Yes, the book has problems, but even if the scribes behind the Mockingjay movies fix them – and I think they did fix quite a few – the fact that Mockingjay – Part 1 is such a departure from the original two films could still be a problem for many.

You can catch Matt’s full review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 right here, but we’d also like to know what you think about the movie, too.  Did you like the change of tone and pace?  Did it leave you eager to see Mockingjay – Part 2?  Sound off in the comments after the jump.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Earns $17 Million from Thursday Showings; Can It Hit $150 Million?

by     Posted 16 hours ago

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Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is off to a fairly strong, if a tad underwhelming, start at the box office.  The film took in an estimated $17 million from Thursday night showings, which is actually short of its previous two entries.  The first Hunger Games took in $19.7 million from midnight-only showings in 2012 and ended up with a $152.5 million opening weekend, while last year’s Catching Fire earned a whopping $25 million from Thursday night showings on the same weekend last year, going on to gross $158 million for the weekend.  While experts have been predicting a massive opening weekend for the highly anticipated (and also well-crafted) Mockingjay – Part 1, these Thursday numbers have some wondering if it might miss the $150 million mark.  More after the jump.

Mahershala Ali Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – Part 1, The Film’s Commentary on War and Propaganda, HOUSE OF CARDS, KICKS, and More

by     Posted 16 hours ago

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Now playing in theaters is director Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  In the next installment, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Unlike the last two films which focused on surviving the games Mockingjay – Part 1 is about the rebellion spreading throughout Panem and the way both sides play the media to gain the upper hand.  It’s an extremely well done movie and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.  Joining the cast are Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham) alongside Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanElizabeth BanksSam Claflin, and Donald Sutherland.

Last weekend in New York City I landed an exclusive video interview with Mahershala Ali.  During our extended conversation he talked about the process of making Mockingjay, working with director Francis Lawrence and fleshing out his character, the film’s commentary on war and propaganda, how he got into acting, the way he likes to work, House of Cards and keeping the show’s secrets under wrapsKicks (which he describes as “Goonies meets Boyz n the Hood,” and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Francis Lawrence Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – Part 1, Deleted Scenes, the Lack of IMAX, the Batman vs. Superman Logo in I AM LEGEND, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  In the next installment, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Unlike the last two films which focused on surviving the games, Mockingjay – Part 1 is about the rebellion spreading throughout Panem and the way both sides play the media to gain the upper hand.  It’s an extremely well done movie and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.  Joining the cast are Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham) alongside Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth BanksSam Claflin, and Donald Sutherland.

A few days ago in New York City I landed a great video interview with Francis Lawrence.  During our extended conversation he talked about editing Mockingjay – Part 1, deciding the right place to end the film, deleted scenes, the possibility of linking up Part 1 and 2 for a marathon-style fan screening, why he didn’t use IMAX on Mockingjay, the status of Mockingjay – Part 2, and so much more.  In addition, Lawrence talked about the Batman vs. Superman Easter egg in I Am Legend and how the logo is very close to what WB is using for Batman v Superman, if he has has any interest in doing another comic book movie, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Review

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Although Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is ostensibly the heroine of the Hunger Games saga, the story has developed to where she’s no longer in the mold of a traditional protagonist.  She began that way in the first movie, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire started to push her to the background as she became part of a much larger conflict rather than its leader.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 continues this shift to the point where it barely resembles the first two pictures as the true story of the latest installment isn’t Katniss’ journey, but the revolution that’s consumed her and the rest of Panem.  She’s still an integral part and the focus of the narrative, but director Francis Lawrence has expanded the social commentary far beyond the first film, and put it squarely on how media can be used to control or inspire in the true battle for hearts and minds.  Although the movie is eventually weighted down by the business requirement of splitting the final book into two movies, and Katniss still becomes a puddle of tears when the melodramatic love story surfaces, Mockingjay remains a fascinating and dark development in this unique franchise.

Natalie Dormer Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1, the Audition Process, Her Haircut, Comic-Con, GAME OF THRONES, and More

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  In the next installment, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Unlike the last two films which focused on surviving the games, Mockingjay – Part 1 is about the rebellion spreading throughout Panem and the way both sides play the media to gain the upper hand.  It’s an extremely well done movie and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.  Joining the cast are Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham) alongside Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour Hoffman,Elizabeth BanksSam Claflin, and Donald Sutherland.

A few days ago in New York City I landed an exclusive interview with Natalie Dormer.  The actress plays the character of Cressida, a rebel who uses her camera as a weapon in the propaganda fight against the Capitol.  During our interview, Dormer talked about landing the role, her audition process, the haircut and tattoo, if she was a fan of the series before she signed on, the way she prepares for a role, going to Comic-Con for the first time, if she’s interested in doing a Marvel or DC superhero movie, Game of Thrones, how she stopped reading the parts of the script that weren’t hers so she could watch season 5 as a fan, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what she had to say.

Enter Our THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Giveaway to Win Books, Movies, Posters and More

by     Posted 5 days ago

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Who wants some The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 swag?  I know I do, but clearly I’m not eligible so the thrill of being able to send off a whole batch of Mockingjay – Part 1 prizes to two readers will have to do!  It’s a pretty solid lineup of stuff for the longtime fan or for someone who’s first getting into the series.  The prize bundle comes with The Hunger Games book series and a DVD pack including both The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but as someone who’s read the books and watched the movies more times than I care to admit, the Mockingjay – Part 1 soundtrack and the fleece blanket (winter is coming!) are the standout items on the list.

Interested? Find out how to get your hands on all of the aforementioned prizes and more after the jump.

Watch THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 NYC Press Conference with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Natalie Dormer, and More

by     Posted 6 days ago

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Yesterday in New York City, I got to attend The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 press conference with Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Julianne Moore (President Coin), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee), Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen), Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair), Mahershala Ali(Boggs), Natalie Dormer (Cressida), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), director Francis Lawrence, and producer Nina Jacobson.  While I typically find press conferences with this many people less than an ideal way to ask questions about a movie, I’ll admit the event turned out great.  That’s mostly because of Jennifer Lawrence.  While Lawrence’s massive success could have transformed her easy going persona into someone difficult to work with, as you watch the press conference you’ll see someone who is still amazed and thankful for her success, and she always has a fun answer.

During the press conference everyone is asked and answers questions about the making of the movie, challenging scenes, how they wish they were more like their characters, what it’s like losing their anonymity, and so much more.  If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, you’ll definitely want to watch this.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens next weekend.  Look for some exclusive interviews on the site later this week.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot: Beetee Sends a Message to Peeta via Mazda; Plus New WK Interact Poster

by     Posted 8 days ago

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The Lionsgate marketing team really knows what they’re doing when it comes to interactive and immersive promotional techniques.  We got those two President Snow (Donald Sutherland) addresses at the beginning of the campaign, there’s also the District Heroes Collection posters, there’s that Our Leader the Mockingjay app that lets you (fake) spray-paint a Mockingjay or District 13 logo on buildings, walls or anything else you see, and now we’ve got a brand new TV spot that also aims to blur reality and fiction.

I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but check out a new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot after the jump.  It’s a little jarring, but it’s definitely a clever double marketing strategy.  We’ve also got another Mockingjay – Part 1 poster from WK Interact to share as well.  The third installment of the Hunger Games film franchise arrives in theaters on November 21st and stars Jennifer LawrenceJosh HutchersonLiam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley TucciJena Malone and Julianne Moore.

New Clip For THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Pits Gale Against Peeta; TV Spot Pits Resistance Against Mazda

by     Posted 8 days ago

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With the film’s release just a week away at this point, Lionsgate is turning the media saturation crank on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 up to full throttle.  During an appearance on Good Morning America today, stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth introduced a new clip that features Hemsworth’s Gale calling Hucherson’s Peeta out on his beta male nature.  Which is sort of like castigating a tree because its made of wood.  There’s also a really cool TV ad that starts out as a Mazda spot but, in a bit of synergy that suggests this franchise wants to have its cake and eat it too, becomes something else.  For an allegory on the media being used as a distraction, the Hunger Games series uses it to its benefit masterfully.

Hit the jump to check out The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Clip and TV spot.  The film opens on November 21st, and also stars  Woody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksJeffrey WrightStanley TucciSam Claflin, and Jena Malone.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Clip Introduces Natalie Dormer, Wes Chatham, Elden Henson and Evan Ross

by     Posted 12 days ago

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire made room for new players like Sam Claflin’s Finnick Odair, Jena Malone’s Johanna Mason and Jeffrey Wright’s Beetee, but The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 introduces far more new main characters, a number of which will likely have a significant presence in the final two films.  A brand new clip from the movie just dropped and it offers a brief introduction to Katniss’ camera team.  As the Mockingjay, it’s Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) responsibility to inspire the nation to fight back via propos – interviews, messages or wartime footage featuring Katniss supporting the rebel war effort – and the folks behind those videos are franchise newcomers Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Castor (Wes Chatham), Pollux (Elden Henson) and Messalla (Evan Ross).

You can catch them as well as Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Katniss’ personal bodyguard, in the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 clip after the jump.  The film hits theaters on November 21st and also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore and Donald Sutherland.

New THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot Loads up on Visual Effects as the Battle Begins

by     Posted 12 days ago

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Lionsgate has released a new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot, and it highlights how the budget for these movies has really ticked upwards.  The first film cost a reported $80 million, and while I don’t know the budget for Mockingjay, it definitely cost more, and we’re going to see that investment on the big screen in the best way possible.  The franchise is really moving towards the mantle of epic sci-fi, and while I still have reservations because I think the novel is fairly weak, everything I’ve seen from the movie thus far is very impressive.

Hit the jump to check out The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot.  The film opens on November 21st, and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksJeffrey WrightStanley TucciSam Claflin, and Jena Malone.

First THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Clip: A Message from Peeta Mellark

by     Posted 16 days ago

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After all those posters, TV spots and trailers, it’s about time we’re getting our very first clip from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, but the reveal is actually a little underwhelming because the clip isn’t as wow-worthy as all of the other promos.  It’s not a bad scene by any means, but it does seem like an odd choice for a first clip.  First off, we’ve seen a good deal of this footage in trailers already and secondly, it just ends so abruptly.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with the material, it just isn’t a particularly satisfying standalone clip nor is it one that leaves you thinking, “I’ve got to see what happens next.”

Hit the jump to check out the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 clip for yourself.  The film is due in theaters on November 21st and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksJeffrey WrightStanley TucciSam Claflin and Jena Malone.

Peeta Sends a Message in the Latest THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot

by     Posted 22 days ago

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President Snow (Donald Sutherland) snatched Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) out of the arena at the end of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for a reason.  He’s got big plans for the Boy with the Bread and thanks to this latest TV spot, we’re getting an extended look at them.  While Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are busy prepping Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) to lead the rebellion, Snow is using Peeta to destroy it.

Hit the jump to catch Peeta’s message to his co-74th Hunger Games victor and everyone else defying The Capitol in the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot.  The film is due in theaters on November 21st and also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Tracking to Open at $130 – $150 Million

by     Posted 23 days ago

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Guardians of the Galaxy currently sits as the domestically highest grossing film of 2014 with a total of $328 million, but it will probably lose the crown when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 hits theaters.  Catching Fire beat out Marvel’s Iron Man 3 last year by raking in $424 million, so unless Mockingjay gets utterly toxic word-of-mouth, it’s probably going to open big on November 21st and stay big through the holiday season.

How big?  THR reports that preliminary tracking is putting the movie on track for a $130 million opening weekend.  Transformers: Age of Extinction is 2014′s current record holder for opening weekend by reaching $100 million.  It’s worth noting that worldwide box office is where the big money is coming from for studios these days, but a $150 million domestic opening would be nothing to scoff at.  The real test for Mockingjay – Part 1 is whether it can top Age of Extinction‘s $1 billion worldwide gross.  Catching Fire grossed $864 million worldwide.  Hit the jump for the synopsis and latest trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.

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