In spring 2012, The Hunger Games became the strongest spring box-office opening in cinema history, setting the standard for the now booming ‘YA’ industry. One year later, the sequel Catching Fire became the biggest Thanksgiving release in cinema history, making over $102 million in five days. This youth phenomenon seemed unstoppable – an inspirational, generation shaping fantasy nailed on for film series of the decade!
That was the case right up to the disappointment of Mockingjay – Part 1.
Now it finds itself as a simple part of one of the biggest box-office years ever, including films that were breaking records before Suzanne Collins even wrote the books and franchises with followings that would literally mock the heroine Katniss. Under pressure from competitors (in YA and otherwise) now more than ever, The Hunger Games is in serious danger of simply petering out. but surely this can’t happen, can it?
Honestly, I’m not meaning these puns, these things just happen!
Maybe I’ve grown up. Maybe I’ve seen enough. Maybe Part 1 disappointed me too much. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I just cant buy into this movie like I used to. I saw The Hunger Games for the first time on DVD and loved it, then a week later I saw Catching Fire in cinemas, and I still believe that to be the greatest cinema experience I’ve ever had. Those two films inspired me to watch more movies, which led to me doing this blog! However, I hear all Katniss’ motivational speeches now and I just think “ugh, I’m sure I’ve heard all this before”. The story seems to lack the bite it used to have, and I get the feel that even those characters (not even the actors, who I’m sure will all do a good job) don’t even want to be there any more. It’s not anger, revenge, hate or anything exciting on their faces. It’s just a miserable ‘can we end this now?’ look.
On a lighter note, some of the traps and situations in the trailer did look cool, especially those freaky zombie things which look awesome!
This Hunger Games has inspired me and countless others, and I will be forever indebted to these movies for shaping me and my hobbies. However, I firmly believe you can have too much of a good thing, and I think it’s time for The Hunger Games to move on. I don’t think this is the whole issue with me, but this wouldn’t be the first film series to be ruined by splitting the last into two parts, and it won’t be the last. Divergent: Allegiant – Part 1 is out next year, for example.
That being said, this is still The Hunger Games and I will still likely go to watch it, along with everyone else that’s been watching it unfold over the years. Set for release on the 19th November in the UK (and a day later in the US), this should be huge, and I would still be surprised if it didn’t come second in 2015’s box-office (behind Star Wars, obviously). I hope this film surprises me, but I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m going to see this and think “I’m sure I’ve seen this before”.