- "The World Will Be Watching."
- ―Official tagline
The nation of Panem has risen out of the ravaged ruins of what was once known as North America. 74 years ago, the poverty-stricken districts of Panem rebelled against the wealthy, controlling the Capitol. After its crushing victory, the Capitol devised the Hunger Games as an annual reminder to the twelve districts of its authority, and as continuing punishment for the rebellion. Every year, each district must hold a raffle (known as the "reaping") to choose one boy and one girl (ranging from the ages 12–18) to participate in the Hunger Games, a competition in which each of the twenty-four contestants (known as "tributes") fight to the death in a televised arena until only one is left alive.In District 12, Primrose Everdeen is screaming in the background while her sister Katniss Everdeen calms her down, mostly because she is terrified that she will be reaped. Katniss then eases her to bed as she sings her a lullaby. Katniss then ventures to the forest to hunt a deer, only for it to be scared off by her friend Gale Hawthorne. To make up for making Katniss lose the only deer she had seen all year, he throws a stone at the trees, making a whole flock of birds fly into the air, and Katniss shoots one of them. After this, a hovercraft appears noisily, and Katniss and Gale retrieve further into the woods. After that, they are seen sitting on a hill overlooking the woods, and Gale insists that he and Katniss could run away from District 12 if it weren't for their families. Katniss isn't too fond of the idea, and the conversation ends in a somewhat hissing tone. Katniss goes to the Hob and trades her game for money and some food with an elderly woman, and notices a mockingjay pin. She asks how much it costs, but the woman says she can keep it. Katniss goes home and finds Prim dressed for the reaping while her mother says she has laid out something for Katniss as well. Katniss then bathes and finds the clothes, reluctantly putting them on. After this, she gives the mockingjay pin to Prim, promising that nothing bad will happen to her as long as she has it. They go to the town square where officials are waiting to take blood samples from the potential tributes. Prim starts to panic. Katniss reassures her only a tiny prick will be needed and she will find Prim afterwards as soon as she can. As the citizens gather for the reaping, District 12's escort, Effie Trinket, shows them a documentary about the Games. She then picks a piece of paper out of the ladies' bowl, reading out the name "Primrose Everdeen." As Prim is about to be taken up the stage, Katniss volunteers to enter the Games in her place, making Katniss the first volunteer from her District. Effie then picks a piece of paper from the boys' bowl and chooses Peeta Mellark. Katniss and Peeta are then taken inside the Justice Building into separate rooms, where Katniss is visited by Prim and their mother. She makes Prim promise that she will not take extra tesserae, and says that Gale will bring them game and she can sell cheese from her goat. Prim gives her the mockingjay pin Katniss first gave her, saying it will keep her safe. Katniss then tells their mother that if she dies, she must not shut down as she did at the passing of her father, that she is all Prim has and must take care of her. Her next visitor is Gale, who tells her to make a bow and arrows or find one once she is in the arena. Katniss makes him promise not to let Prim and Mrs. Everdeen starve. She and Peeta are then taken to a train that will bring them to the Capitol. During the ride, they meet their mentor, Haymitch Abernathy, an alcoholic and the only living victor from District 12.Katniss has a recurring memory of Peeta giving her a half-burnt loaf of bread from the back of the bakery, at a time when her family was on the brink of starvation. Upon their arrival at the Capitol, the tributes are cleaned-up by their respective Prep Teams. Katniss is then seen in a small room where she meets her stylist, Cinna. He says his job is to help her make a good impression with potential sponsors.To impress the people of the Capitol during the Opening Ceremony, Cinna dresses Katniss and Peeta in black suits with capes made of fire. The District 12 tributes stay in the Penthouse of the Training Center where they are clothed, well-fed, and waited upon by Avoxes. In the Training Center, the tributes practice, learn, and show- off their skills to daunt the others. During a private training session with the Gamemakers, Katniss misses her first target but then makes up for it with her second; although they ignored her. Out of frustration, Katniss sends an arrow at an apple near the Gamemakers which surprises them. During a televised interview before the Games, Katniss tries to be likeable and impressive to gain sponsors. Peeta states that he has secretly had a romantic interest in Katniss since childhood. Katniss responds with anger, but Haymitch comes up with the idea of having Katniss and Peeta act as a loving couple in the arena to get sympathy from the audience and gain sponsors. Haymitch also tells Katniss to resist the urge to run toward the weapons laid out for the tributes as soon as the Games begin, as it will only lead to bloodshed. He tells her instead to head to higher ground and search for water, as it will be her only friend during the Games. The night before the Games, Katniss can't go to sleep and steps out to find Peeta who also can't sleep. Peeta tells her that he hopes that the Games won't change who he is as an individual and that if he does die, he wants to die as himself. Katniss tells him that she can't think like that because she has her family to care for. The tributes are sealed in a tube and then a platform raises them to the arena. They wait sixty seconds before setting off the platform or they will be blown up. When the Games begin, the majority of the tributes make a mad dash to the "Cornucopia," a repository of food and equipment. Twelve of them are slaughtered by the other tributes within the first half-hour of the Games. Katniss stumbles after grabbing an backpack, and is set-upon by another tribute, who, in turn, is killed by a knife to the back thrown by District 2 tribute Clove. Katniss flees into the forest, and runs into Foxface, the District 5 tribute, who turns and runs away. Katniss loses track of Peeta, running deeper into the woods. As she stops to examine the backpack's contents, she hears the post-Cornucopia bloodbath cannons. After a tribute is killed, a loud cannon sounds to signal his or her death. On the first night, Katniss hides in a tree and witnesses the District 8 female being killed by a gang of tributes (known as the "Careers") led by District's 1 and 2, which includes Peeta.
When Katniss unwittingly walks towards the edge of the arena, she is turned back by a forest fire created by the Gamemakers, which draws attention of the Careers to her location. Katniss runs through the forest, dodging deadly fire-balls. She is hit by burning shrapnel, injuring her right thigh. She blindly stumbles on after being rousted by another fire-ball, ending up at the river where she dives in to soothe her burn. The Careers see Katniss and chase her until she finds the sanctuary of a tall tree. After several unsuccessful attempts to kill her, Peeta suggests that they wait her out and kill her when she makes an attempt to escape. That night, Katniss is alerted to a bell-like chiming in the sky and sees a cylinder attached to a parachute coming towards her. She opens the cylinder and reads a message from Haymitch telling her to tend to her leg using a healing salve contained inside the cylinder.
The next morning, she awakens to find that her injury was almost completely healed overnight. While the gang is still asleep, Katniss is alerted by Rue, the female tribute from District 11, who points out to her a nest of "tracker jackers," genetically altered wasps whose stings cause extreme pain, hallucinations, and sometimes death. Katniss cuts the nest from the tree and it lands on the group below, killing Glimmer, the District 1 female tribute. Katniss takes the bow and arrows from Glimmer's corpse, but having been stung, she hallucinates Peeta coming and telling her to run, as well as reliving the devastation of the loss of her father in a mine explosion when she was younger. She runs but blacks out.When Katniss awakens, she learns that Rue has nursed her for a few days. They become allies and decide to conduct a raid on the Cornucopia to destroy the Career group's food supply. After Katniss successfully destroys their supply, she finds Rue trapped in a net and frees her. Rue is then killed by Marvel, the District 1 tribute, who sprang the trap, and Katniss kills him in return. The televised death of Rue, in which Katniss covers her body with flowers and gives a salute to the camera, leads to an uprising in District 11. To quell the rioting, the Gamemaker, Seneca Crane, agrees with Haymitch's suggestion to allow the survival of two players from the same district, in the hope that it will give the masses something to root for. This change is done over the carefully-worded objections of President Snow. Katniss thus seeks out Peeta near the river, where Rue mentioned seeing him. Peeta has been severely wounded by Cato and his sword, and once Katniss finds him (by nearly stepping on his camouflaged body), she helps him to a riverside cave, and tries to nurse him back to health. Peeta declares his love for her and questions why she is risking her own survival to help him. She silences his protestations with a swift kiss on the cheek. Shortly thereafter a silver parachute arrives with broth for Peeta, and a note for Katniss: "You call that a kiss?" Peeta mentions how he has had his eye on Katniss since they were young schoolchildren, which embarrasses her, being too close to the truth to share with all of Panem. As Peeta's fever worsens, it is announced that something each of the living tributes "desperately needs" will be left at the Cornucopia in the morning, a "feast." Katniss tells Peeta that it must be the medicine he needs. Peeta argues, saying he doesn't want Katniss to risk her life for him, Katniss answers back that he would do the same for her. Before he can raise any further objection, Katniss kisses him and agrees to stay. However, she waits until he is asleep, burning up with fever, and then sneaks off to the feast. While recovering the medicine, she is nearly killed by Clove from District 2, but is saved by Thresh of District 11. Thresh hears Clove boasting about how the Careers killed Katniss's ally, Rue, and is enraged. He kills Clove by smashing her against the Cornucopia, snapping her neck. He then acknowledges the debt by saying to Katniss "just this once, 12 ... for Rue." Katniss grabs the medicine and heads back to the cave. Upon Peeta's recovery, he and Katniss go out scouting and discover the dead body of the girl from District 5, nicknamed Foxface, who ate "nightlock," a type of poisonous berry Peeta had been inadvertently gathering. Katniss takes the remaining berries in hopes of tricking District 2's Cato into eating them. That night, carnivorous and aggressive wild animals known as a "muttations," or "mutts," are released into the arena to intensify the games, killing Thresh, leaving the only surviving players Katniss, Peeta, and Cato. Katniss and Peeta are chased by at least a half-dozen mutts to the Cornucopia, where they encounter a bloodied and beaten Cato. After a brief but deadly fight, Cato holds Peeta by the neck, and Katniss notches an arrow at him. Cato confesses that he regrets the fact that his only skill in life is his ability to kill and realizes he's become of the Capitol; nevertheless, he will not give up in honor of District 2. Following Peeta's gesture, Katniss fires an arrow at Cato's hand and he releases Peeta who then pushes him off the Cornucopia, falling to the animals below. As they attack Cato, Katniss fires an arrow into his chest to end his suffering. When Katniss and Peeta climb down from the Cornucopia, Claudius Templesmith's voice over the loudspeaker declares that the rule change that allowed two players of the same district to survive has been revoked, and one of them must die. Unable to kill each other, Katniss comes up with a plan she hopes will force the Gamemaker to allow both of them to win. Knowing that failure to produce a definitive Victor would defeat the purpose of the Games, Katniss convinces Peeta to join her attempt at suicide by eating the nightlock berries together. Peeta is reluctant, but Katniss assures him: "Trust me." As they raise the berries to their lips, Templesmith cries "stop" over the speakers and declares that Katniss and Peeta are both the winners of 74th Hunger Games. As Haymitch explains to Katniss back at the Training Center that her act of defiance has endangered both her and everyone else in District 12, Seneca Crane is summoned by President Coriolanus Snow to a special room, escorted by Peacekeepers. In the room is a bowl filled with nightlock berries. Seneca realizes too late what is meant to happen to him, and the doors lock behind him, leaving him no way to escape. Haymitch tells Katniss that during her final interview with Caesar, she must profess her love for Peeta so that she is seen as a girl who acted out of love instead of someone who is beginning a rebellion. Afterwards, President Snow crowns Katniss and Peeta as the victors of the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta return home as heroes, but despite the declaration of two Victors, a rebellion has begun throughout Panem. Snow watches Katniss and Peeta being cheered on in District 12. Visibly contemplating their fate, he turns his back and the film ends as he leaves the Game Control Center.
Lions Gate Entertainment acquired worldwide distribution rights to a film adaptation of The Hunger Games, which is being produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force production company. Suzanne Collins initially adapted the novel for film herself, with rewrites by Billy Ray. However, the first draft of the script was replaced by one written by Collins and director Gary Ross. When asked for his thoughts on his script being replaced, Ray said, "I don't have any." From an initial $60 million, the budget for the film was increased to $75 million, then to $100 million.
On May 18, 2011, Entertainment Weekly revealed on their cover the first photo of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. The first teaser trailer was revealed during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. Lawrence presented the teaser through a pre-recorded video, as she wasn't able to attend the event due to filming.
The official trailer was released on November 14, 2011.
- Jennifer Lawrence - Katniss Everdeen, the female tribute from District 12. Protagonist of the story.
- Josh Hutcherson - Peeta Mellark, the male tribute from District 12 who is deeply in love with Katniss.
- Jack Quaid - Marvel, the male tribute from District 1.
- Leven Rambin - Glimmer, the female tribute from District 1.
- Alexander Ludwig - Cato, the male tribute from District 2.
- Isabelle Fuhrman - Clove, the female tribute from District 2.
- Ian Nelson - the male tribute from District 3.
- Kalia Prescott - the female tribute from District 3.
- Ethan Jamieson - the male tribute from District 4.
- Tara Macken - the female tribute from District 4.
- Chris Mark - the male tribute from District 5.
- Jacqueline Emerson - "Foxface," the cunning and sly female tribute from District 5.
- Ashton Moio - the male tribute from District 6.
- Kara Petersen - the female tribute from District 6.
- Sam Ly - the male tribute from District 7.
- Leigha Hancock - the female tribute from District 7.
- Samuel Tan - the male tribute from District 8.
- Mackenzie Lintz - the female tribute from District 8.
- Imanol Yepez-Frias - the male tribute from District 9.
- Annie Thurman - the female tribute from District 9.
- Jeremy Marinas - the male tribute from District 10 .
- Dakota Hood - the female tribute from District 10.
- Amandla Stenberg - Rue, Katniss's ally in the 74th Hunger Games, and female tribute from District 11.
- Dayo Okeniyi - Thresh, the male tribute from District 11.
- Liam Hemsworth - Gale Hawthorne, best friend, tentative love interest and hunting partner of Katniss.
- Willow Shields - Primrose Everdeen, the younger sister of Katniss.
- Paula Malcomson - Mrs. Everdeen, Katniss and Prim's mother.
- Elizabeth Banks - Effie Trinket, escort of District 12 tributes, Katniss and Peeta.
- Wes Bentley - Seneca Crane, Head Gamemaker of the 74th Hunger Games.
- Stanley Tucci - Caesar Flickerman, interviewer for the Hunger Games.
- Woody Harrelson - Haymitch Abernathy, victor of the 50th Hunger Games, an alcoholic, and Katniss and Peeta's mentor.
- Latarsha Rose - Portia, Peeta's stylist and Cinna's partner.
- Brooke Bundy - Octavia, member of Katniss's prep team.
- Lenny Kravitz - Cinna, Katniss's stylist and Portia's partner.
- Toby Jones - Claudius Templesmith, arena announcer for the games.
- Amber Chaney - Lavinia, the redheaded Avox girl.
- Kimiko Gelman - Venia, member of Katniss's prep team.
- Nelson Ascencio - Flavius, member of Katniss's prep team.
- Donald Sutherland -President Coriolanus Snow, the cruel and oppressive ruler of Panem.
- Phillip Troy Linger - Mr. Everdeen, Katniss's father.
- Karan Kendrick - Atala, head trainer at the Training Center.
- Main article: The Hunger Games: Original Motion Picture Score
- See also: The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond
Universal Republic released the film's official soundtrack, as well as The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond, containing the 3 songs featured over the film's end credits, along with 13 others. Danny Elfman and T-Bone Burnett were originally meant to collaborate in composing the film's score but Elfman dropped out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. James Newton Howard replaced Elfman as the composer with Burnett also serving as the film's executive music producer.
First theatrical trailer
The first full length trailer debuted on iTunes Trailers with a simulcast on ABC's Good Morning America. The trailer shows Katniss and Gale hunting in the District 12 woods as a hovercraft appears above them. It also shows Prim being reaped and Katniss volunteering to take her place. A quick shot of Katniss' travel to the Capitol is also seen. After their arrival, Katniss is shown on a bed where she is being prepared for the interviews by her prep team and Cinna, her stylist. The tributes from the other districts are shown preparing for the Games along with Katniss being introduced to the crowds by Caesar Flickerman. The scene where Katniss is lifted to the Arena platform is being televised all over Panem. The trailer concludes as the tributes run towards the Cornucopia. Rue's four note tone can be heard in the end.
Second theatrical trailer
The trailer starts with Katniss giving Prim the mockingjay pin. President Snow greets the crowd and Effie draws Prim's name and Katniss volunteers. The trailer also put focus on Caesar Flickerman's interview with Katniss, the race to the Cournocopia and Katniss' and Peeta's talk. The trailer ends with Cinna showing Katniss the mockingjay pin attached to her suit before she is sent to the Arena. Rue's four note tone can be heard in the end.
Differences from the book
- Main article: The Hunger Games book to film differences
The Hunger Games Adventures
- Main article: The Hunger Games Adventures
Lions Gate and developer Funtactix have collaborated for a web based social game of The Hunger Games.
The game allows players to create their own avatars and embark on a Panem-wide adventure. While the players will not be able to enter the Arena in game, they will be able to see Katniss, Peeta and other District 12 characters in their game persona.
The Hunger Games sparked early positive reviews. Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and compared Jennifer Lawrence's portrayal of Katniss to Ree Dolly, Lawrence's character from the Oscar-nominated film Winter's Bone. Peter Travers of The Rolling Stone said that the film "has epic spectacle, yearning romance, suspense that won't quit and a shining star in Jennifer Lawrence." Rex Reed of New York Observer found the film exhilarating and exciting.
In contrast, Richard Corliss of Time Magazine said that the film is better at grim than gaudy, but not masterly at either. He, however, admired the actors portrayal of the characters like Effie. Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com said that the film is just an elementary fairy tale about a young girl's coming of age and an incipient romantic triangle.
Generally, the film has received an overall positive reviews with a 84% "Fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes with the site's consensus saying "Thrilling and superbly acted, The Hunger Games captures the dramatic violence, raw emotion, and ambitious scope of its source novel." The film received praise for its acting, writing, music, and visual style. It was criticized for its "excessive violence," repetitive musical score, shakey camera work, overuse of CGI and under-developed characters. Jennifer Lawrence received the most critical acclaim.
The film's $155 million opening weekend gross is the highest ever for the first movie in a franchise. It remained in the #1 slot for domestic gross for its' second, third and fourth weekends in theaters, crossing the $500 million gross mark in its' fourth weekend (the first for any film in 2012). It was the highest-grossing film of 2012 before the release of Marvel's The Avengers. The film is the 5th highest-grossing film of 2012 worldwide to date. It grossed $408,010,692 in North America, and $685,080,950 worldwide. It is the 11th highest-grossing first entry of a series and is the 53rd highest-grossing film of all-time. It is currently the highest-grossing science-fiction adaptation of all-time.
The Hunger Games DVD/Blu-Ray release
The Hunger Games was released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and On Demand on August 18, 2012.
- 2-disc DVD (and digital copy)
- 2-disc Blu-ray (and digital copy)
- 3 hours of previously unavailable bonus content
- Eight part documentary, The World is Watching: The Making of the Hunger Games
- Sit-down conversation with director Gary Ross
- Numerous featurettes
- Preparing for the Games: A Director's Process (only on Blu-ray, this feature looks at three different book scenes and how they were adapted for film).
- Game Maker: Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games Phenomenon featurette
- Letters from the Rose Garden featurette – insights from Donald Sutherland on the development of his role as President Snow
- Controlling the Games featurette – stories and concepts behind creating the control center
- Propaganda Film (in its entirety)
- Marketing Archive
- Main article: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Sequels for the film was announced in July 2012. Lions Gate has slated The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to be released November 2013, if all goes according to schedule. Catching Fire was be directed by Francis Lawrence, who replaced Gary Ross after the latter bowed out. All of The Hunger Games actors whose characters appear in Catching Fire reprised their roles.
- ↑ The Changing Objective of the American Film Market. Baseline Intel (November 18, 2010). Retrieved on November 29, 2010.
- ↑ Bonnie Fuller (May 6, 2011). 'The Hunger Games' Script Stays True To The Book & Makes Way For Prequels! Exclusive. Hollywood Life. Retrieved on May 9, 2011.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Joshua L. Weinstein (5-27-2011). 'Hunger Games' Ditches Billy Ray's Script For One by Novelist Suzanne Collins and Director Gary Ross. The Wrap. Retrieved on 5-28-2011.
- ↑ The Hunger Games budget increases to $75 million Mockingjay UK. Retrieved on May 9, 2011.
- ↑ This Week's Cover: First look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in 'The Hunger Games' -- EXCLUSIVE Entertainment Weekly (05-18-2011). Retrieved on 05-19-2011.
- ↑ Brian Gallagher (06-20-2011). The Hunger Games Gets Composers Danny Elfman and T-Bone Burnett. Movieweb. Retrieved on 06-24-2011.
- ↑ Adam Chitwood (12-05-2011). James Newton Howard Replaces Danny Elfman as Composer on THE HUNGER GAMES. Collider. Retrieved on 12-23-2011.
- ↑ 6/28/11 - THE HUNGER GAMES scores T Bone Burnett and Danny Elfman. Lionsgate Publicity (06-28-2011). Retrieved on O6-28-2011.
- ↑ 'Hunger Games:' Gary Ross won't direct 'Catching Fire'. LA Times (April 10, 2012).