Spotlight: The Hunger Games
People have always had a slight obsession or need to think about alternate universes. Is it boredom? Is it a want of something new and exciting? Is it disgust with the current state of the world? Whatever the reason may be, it’s not likely to go away any time soon, especially with books like The Hunger Games. For those who are unfamiliar to the basic plot, it is set in a post-revolutionary country with what seems to be a manipulative, totalitarian style government. Once a year to win food for their “district,” children must compete in a grand, televised tournament to the death. With such a brilliant set up- what couldn’t happen?
This arguably brilliant idea has sold millions of books, both before and after the movie’s release. When movie production began, there were some 9.6 million copies of the books in circulation, including the follow-up books, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. Given such a remarkable success, it was really no surprise when it was decided that they would be turned into movies. Would they be equally as successful? Well, for the follow-up movies, only time will tell. However, if the first movie was any representation of what is to come- then, yes.
Websites like The Hollywood Reporter predicted an opening weekend success in the box-office of nearly $100,000- and that was the high end. So, naturally, it shattered those expectations with a whopping $155,000 profit on its opening weekend this past March. According to Entertainment Weekly, this kind of revenue is the third highest on record, losing only to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, and The Dark Knight.
For such shocking numbers, however, is it really so surprising? As afore mentioned, this idea of an all-powerful government pushing the 'little guys' around is nothing new and neither is its ability to draw people in. One of the most revered books in literature is George Orwell’s 1984. While its plot and specifics are very different from that of The Hunger Games, the basic idea is the same: This could happen, and if it does, what do we do about it? All it takes is a great writer (whether it be Orwell or Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins) or a great movie producer to really get people to listen to the message; the fire will light itself.
All in all, it is a good week for readers and movie goers to appreciate The Hunger Games, so it is a good week to put it under the Spotlight. Stories that put the focus on a personal level storm through the media day after day. It is stories that encompass societal beliefs and values that focus on the 'greater good' that seem to be few and far between. Interestingly enough, however, it is these stories that put the biggest ideas into the minds of the people.
Box Office Shocker: ‘Hunger Games’ Tracking to Open Bigger Than ‘Breaking Dawn’ by Pamela McClintock (Mar 12, 2012)
Box office report: 'The Hunger Games' posts third-best opening weekend ever with $155 mil by John Young (Mar 25, 2012)
’Hunger Games’ Book Sales Bode Well for the Film by Julie Bosman (Jan 22, 2012)