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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire broke another Us box office record over the Thanksgiving period.
The second instalment in the Jennifer Lawrence-led series continued its streak atop the chart, earning $110.2m during the extended five-day holiday weekend - smashing last record holder Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which achieved $82.4m in 2001.
Catching Fire's Friday to Sunday screenings amassed $74.5 million, bringing the sequel's overall total to $296.5m.
The final book in the Suzanne Collins trilogy Mockingjay is set to be split into two films for the big screen, with part one's debut scheduled for November 21, 2014 and part two due a year later on November 20, 2015.
Despite landing one place behind Catching Fire, Disney's latest release Frozen celebrated a record of its own. The Kristen Bell-voiced animation brought in $93m over the long weekend, breaking the Thanksgiving record for highest debut - previously held by Toy Story 2 in 1999 with $80m. »
‘Catching Fire’ box office: To surpass Iron Man 3 in North America? (photo: Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’) Thanksgiving was celebrated this past week in the United States. Although the American economy remains in a seemingly never-ending rut, Lionsgate has much to be thankful for, financially speaking: on the weekend of November 29-December 1, 2013, Francis Lawrence’s $110-130 million-budgeted The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, added another $74.5 million from 4,163 North American locations according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Even if Lionsgate’s estimates are (once again) off by a couple of percentage points, that’s a remarkable hold for a sequel. In fact, Catching Fire was down only 53% compared to its first weekend, which included $25+ million from Thursday night and Friday midnight screenings. And let’s not forget that the Hunger Games sequel blew off »
- Zac Gille
Audiences continued to flock to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the blockbuster sequel to The Hunger Games. The phenomenal success surrounding the latest movie adaptation from Suzanne Collins’ trilogy of books about young adults in the near future fighting to the death in a series of government-sponsored tournaments, brought the spotlight to key members of the film crew in addition to stars like Jennifer Lawrence. Costume designer Trish Summerville talked to the Hero Complex blog at The Los Angeles Times about her designing unique looks for the film’s many characters including the 24 tributes joining Katniss in the games. »
Never underestimate producer Nina Jacobson, who once ran production at Disney and knows how to surround herself with smart people, from "Hunger Games" author Suzanne Collins to indie producer Jon Kilik. It wasn't easy to turn Suzanne Collins' first book in her "Hunger Games" trilogy into a global blockbuster, nor was it easy to navigate through the departure of director Gary Ross to find his replacement, Francis Lawrence, amid a change of management at the studio, Lionsgate. But Jacobson carefully steered the $140-million "Catching Fire" to its takeoff last weekend, when it broke records, and is soaring into the holiday stratosphere. We spoke on the phone during a break on her breathless round of premieres around the world in London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Paris, La and New York. Anne Thompson: How did you manage to take this movie through a departing director? Nina Jacobson: Simon Beaufoy ["Slumdog Millionaire"] was writing for Gary Ross, »
- Anne Thompson
Jennifer Lawrence plays a young woman who is not defined by her relationship to men, and who is bringing down the system
All hail Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games trilogy. If you are the mother of a pre-teen girl, you will know the whispered relief around these films. "About time. Go!" If you would like your teenage daughter to see something other than the underclass sobbing on a crass talent show, orange twentysomethings Botoxing themselves, or girls who are just "naturally thin" and who giggle when their clothes just drop off, then you will already know about them. If, like me, you simply would like to see a young woman not defined by her relationship to men, crack open the pick 'n' mix.
- Suzanne Moore
Sure, the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving holiday is that big, glorious meal — a sacred tradition that shouldn’t, nay, mustn’t be sullied by glowing rectangles bearing texts or emails or live television programming. But what about after the tryptophan sets in, leaving you and your family tired, sluggish, and yearning for entertainment — long before the Steelers/Ravens game begins at 8:30 p.m. Et? For that matter, which of the Internet’s zillions of entertainment options should you turn to throughout the rest of the weekend?
Well, that’s where your friends at EW come in. Whether you’ll be juggling restless kids, »
- Hillary Busis
As a fan of the original books, I can say that this hugely anticipated Hunger Games sequel – subtitled Catching Fire – is a major triumph. It exceeds the first of the planned four-part series in every way (even Jennifer Lawrence managed to outdo herself as the lead,) and crucially, it gives us a heroine to root for and a villain to loath (though it is so enjoyable to loath President Snow, played with stone cold conviction by the great Donald Sutherland).
For those unaware, The Hunger Games tells the story of the dystopian remains of North America, now called Panem, divided into twelve districts and the Capitol. Every year, a male and female child from each of the poor districts are picked as tributes in a fight to the death for the entertainment of the capitol, and as a deterrent against uprising, and in punishment for a historical rebellion that saw the end of District 13. »
- Haydn Spurrell
Paul Risker on Katniss Everdeen and the dystopian sci-fi role model....
Woman, says Caroline Williams, has been a “prize, there to be defeated, destroyed or possessed.” Regardless a number of female protagonists have provided a strong representation of femininity, from the inaugural “Final Girl” Jamie Lee Curtis, Alien’s Ellen Ripley, The Silence of the Lambs' Clarice Starling, Terminator’s Sarah Connor to Pollyanna
McIntosh’s The Woman.
From the perspective of the narrative’s antagonists all of these women were a “prize, there to be defeated, destroyed or possessed.” In spite of this each has symbolised feminine strength, and served as cinematic role models; celebrated and reviled in equal measure. The same is true of cinema’s latest feminine role model - The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen, who proceeds to contribute to this heritage of feminine strength - celebrated by the films young audience, male and female, and »
- Gary Collinson
(Spoiler Alert: This piece reveals key plot details from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”)
More than once over the past several years, during the steady diet of teenage wizards and emo vampires that we have come to call moviegoing, I’ve felt compelled to ask: What is the purpose of adapting popular fantasy fiction for the screen? Is it (a) to faithfully reproduce the author’s sacred text in every last particular for the benefit of hardcore fanboys and fangirls? Or is it (b) to refashion the material as an entirely new experience, trimmed down and in some cases completely overhauled?
The answer, of course, is (c) to make a killing at the box office, an outcome generally arrived at by finding some happy middle ground between options (a) and (b), between undue reverence and wholesale reinvention. Peter Jackson struck just the right balance in his magnificent “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, »
- Justin Chang
Which Lawrence was a better hire for Team Hunger Games? There.s no question Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence is a tremendous asset to Lionsgate.s ongoing adaptation of Suzanne Collins. best-selling Ya novels. The versatile actress brings necessary emotional weight and pathos to the part of Katniss Everdeen, a freedom fighter tossed into the middle of a war she never sought to enter, forced to sacrifice family and friendship in order to spark a revolution. So much of Collins. story is conveyed through Everdeen.s internal monlogues. Lawrence, the actress, finds ways to externally communicate her character.s conflicts, elevating Catching Fire above the standard, hollow, effects-driven blockbuster. I would argue, however, that the hire of Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence can not be overlooked as we begin to measure the success of the Hunger Games film franchise. He might not attract as many eyeballs as the pop-culture-savvy J-Law, who »
It's all Harry Potter's fault. Ever since the wizarding franchise so successfully bisected its final chapter into two financially and critically acclaimed parts, it's become a foregone conclusion that every closed-ended blockbuster series will do the same. And why wouldn't they? It doesn't take much to work out that two box office record-smashing films are better than one, particularly when there's no scope for further sequels.
Vehemently though Peter Jackson tried to tell us that three Hobbit films were necessary in order to do justice to the scope and detail of Jrr Tolkien's world, we all know that the endgame is financial rather than creative. Die-hard Twilight fans were undeniably grateful for the series' ending being postponed, but would a lean two-hour finale have made for a better movie than two faintly anaemic Breaking Dawns? Probably.
So how will it work for Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins' third and arguably most difficult Hunger Games novel? »
‘Catching Fire’ weekend box office: Record breaker with qualifiers — though a huge success all the same (photo: Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’) For the weekend of November 22-24, 2013, Lionsgate overestimated the domestic box office take of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by nearly 2%. Doesn’t sound like much? What about $3 million? That figure can make a hell of a difference when we’re talking box office records. In fact, it can be the difference between a movie breaking and not breaking a box office record. All day Sunday heralded as the biggest 2D opening ever in the United States and Canada, the Francis Lawrence-directed Catching Fire actually opened below two movies: Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and The Dark Knight (2008). And when inflation is taken into account, as it always should, the The Hunger Games sequel falls behind a couple of other titles as well. »
- Zac Gille
Catching Fire is inventing new kinds of money to make. So, lest there was any doubt, there will be a Mockingjay movie. Or rather, two Mockingjay movies. Heck, they’re filming the movies right now; maybe they’ll squeeze out a third one in their spare time. Book-splitting isn’t so much a trend as it is Standard Operating Procedure for now: Popularized by Harry Potter, debased by Twilight, taken to ludicrous extremes by The Hobbit. But splitting up Mockingjay offers a particular challenge to the filmmakers: How do you turn that book into two different PG-13 movies?
- Darren Franich
… not a novel, but a series. And what a series.
That’s right: EW readers have officially voted J.K. Rowling’s epic, game-changing Harry Potter saga to be the best Ya novel — er, novels — of all time. (Why did we pit series against standalone books? Simple: As EW book editor Tina Jordan explained, the list would have been too cluttered “with multiple titles from Ya’s most outstanding series” otherwise.)
On one level, this should hardly come as a shock. Harry, after all, is responsible not only for introducing an entire generation to the wonders of reading but also for »
- Hillary Busis
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the sequel to the first movie in the series that opened in March 2012, swept through theaters this weekend with an estimated $161.1 million gross. Catching fire, indeed.
That means fans of the Girl on Fire made the movie the best November opening of all time, ahead of another “genre” movie with a female protagonist, the Twilight series’ New Moon, which scored $142.9 million in the box office during it’s debut in 2009. It also currently holds fourth place for the top movie debuts of all time, behind The Avengers ($207.4 million), Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169.2 million).
According to the numbers, the only movie to beat Catching Fire – the latest installment adapting Suzanne Collins’ novels about a world where a deadly competition pits children against children for the entertainment and control of the people of the fictional Panem – in 2013 was Iron Man 3. »
- Jocelyn Cook
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson). Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force »
- Melissa Howland
Last March, The Hunger Games took the world by storm, topping the global box office to finish up with $691m., breaking records left, right, and centre. So it should really come as no surprise that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire would make a repeat performance over the weekend in its November slot.
The film opened huge at the North American box office over the weekend, with early estimates putting the figures at $161.1m. across the three days, totting up a massive $70.5m. on Friday alone.
It now sits comfortably above The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which previously took $142.8m., to become the highest-grossing November bow in the Us. Not only that, but it also now sits impressively at #4 on the biggest debuts in the Us of all time, inching past The Dark Knight ($158.4m.) and The Dark Knight Rises ($160.8m.), beaten only by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($169.1m. »
- Kenji Lloyd
28 Differences Between The Hunger Games Catching Fire Movie and Book. The 28 differences between Francis Lawrence‘s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) and Suzanne Collins‘ second book in her trilogy are numerous. Some of the changes are minor while others are large. The 12 differences between The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [...]
Continue reading: Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013): 28 Differences Between Film & Book »
- Rollo Tomasi
‘Catching Fire’ weekend box office: ‘The Hunger Games’ sequel poised for biggest domestic November debut ever? (photo: Jennifer Lawrence and Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’) On Friday, November 22, 2013, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (slightly) surpassed the higher end of early North American box office predictions, pulling in an estimated $70.5 million (including $25.25 million from Thursday evening shows) from 4,163 sites as per Box Office Mojo. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson, the Francis Lawrence-directed The Hunger Games sequel seems poised to shatter the current November opening-weekend record held by The Twilight Saga: New Moon. But then again, comparisons between the two movies may not be exactly fair; more on that below. Last week, some box office pundits (and, reportedly, Lionsgate Pictures as well) were expecting Catching Fire to open somewhere near Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man 3‘s $174.14 million »
- Zac Gille
Jennifer Lawrence is impressive as the warrior whose public support disturbs the powers that be
Say what you like about the Twilight movies, but the mould-breaking model of an epic teen-oriented fantasy franchise that doesn't pander predominantly to a Boy's Own audience has had major repercussions for mainstream cinema. That the Hunger Games saga, with its ass-kicking, independent heroine and unusually grim subject matter, could become an international screen sensation is due in no small part to the much-maligned legacy of Bella Swan; no wonder Stephenie Meyer's all-important endorsements were splashed so prominently across the covers of Suzanne Collins's source novels.
And so we return to the totalitarian future, where once rebellious districts are forced to offer up their children for annual sacrifice, part of a grotesque Running Man-style reality show designed to titillate the ruling classes while subjugating the masses. Here, Katniss Everdeen (the brilliantly »
- Mark Kermode
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