The most anticipated film of the year is now here. With an estimated $19.7 mil in ticket sales at midnight, ‘The Hunger Games’ looks primed to become the biggest franchise for Hollywood since Harry Potter. Suzanne Collins wrote the story, of a post apocalyptic world where the government runs the show and an annual competition determines the fate of two individuals aged 12-18. Buzz about this film has been around since casting was announced and it appears to have succeeded over a lengthy period of time.
Hype hasn’t just followed the movies; the stars have gotten plenty too. Over the past week, Jennifer Lawrence, who stars as the pivotal character, Katniss, has been raved about by critics far and wide. There have been endless articles about her rise to stardom, her former Oscar nomination and now, her outstanding performance in this film. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth have also gained much recognition after being cast in this role. While Josh has had plenty of critically successful films on his belt, this is Liam’s first major role since starring in ‘The Last Song.’
How is this film different from former hip franchise ‘Twilight?’ The book is largely based on the competitiveness between Katniss and Peeta in their quest to win ‘The Hunger Games.’ Romance takes a very small part in this series, which is what the ‘Twilight’ series seemed to circle around. Young men and boys can enjoy the story in a way that they didn’t with ‘Twilight,’ while young women and girls can look up to Katniss for confidence and strength. It is not only the story, but the political undertones of a world ruled by the government that brings it full circle for adults and kids alike.
‘The Hunger Games’ is estimated to pull in between $125 million – $140 million this weekend at the box office, which would place it within the top box office openers of all time. Whether sequels will do the same is not up for discussion. Between the great word of mouth, critical praise, and hype for its young cast, ‘The Hunger Games’ and its sequels should have no problem becoming huge. This is one I will be catching this weekend. ‘The Hunger Games’ is out in theaters now.