Move over Star Wars, Harry Potter, and even Twilight (gasp): there’s a new record breaking film franchise in town! The first installment of The Hunger Games series opened this weekend to rapturous reviews and once-in-a-lifetime sales figures. When we broke down the numbers last week, the film was expected to pull in the still-huge amount of $125 million. But the saga ended up breaking records for a springtime opening, taking in an incredible $155 million in North America alone over the weekend. When you factor in the $59.25 million it took in overseas, that brings the total to a staggering $214 million! Not bad for an $80 million dollar price tag.
The spring record was previously held by Tim Burton’s 3-D reboot of Alice In Wonderland back in 2010, which clocked in at $119 million for its first weekend. But those figures could be considered a little inflated when you consider that ticket prices for a 3-D movie are higher than one in plain old cinemascope, which makes The Hunger Games performance over the weekend even more remarkable.
It was seen by some a risky move to open the series in March, instead of saving it for the more traditional blockbuster seasons of the summer and December. But obviously those people underestimated the draw of the Games. “If a movie looks intriguing, customers will show up, no matter what the calendar reads,” BoxOffice.com editor Phil Contrino told The New York Times. It also proves that with Harry Potter already history, and Twilight heading towards its November finale, THG will certainly pick up the slack as the next massive movie franchise. Let the games begin! And speaking of games, don’t forget to check out our FAB Life of Panem Superfan Giveaway!
Related: 10 Things The Hunger Games Got Right
12 Things Missing From The Hunger Games Movie
The Hunger Games By The Numbers: Fun Factoids And Figures
Don’t get me wrong here, I loved The Hunger Games. But the level of my fandom is such that I couldn’t help but notice the things missing from the movie — and that noticing ranged from “Oh, that’s interesting they made that choice,” to “Oh, that’s actually probably better without X,” to “How could they?” And I’m sure I’m not alone, so take a look at this list, ranging from best omissions to worst, and then share your own. Or yell at me for daring to nitpick like this. SPOILERS GALORE!
12. The muttations’ tribute numbers and eyes. Really, as scary as it was in the book to think of a rabid dog with Rue’s eyes, there’s no way this could have looked good on film.
11. District 11 giving Katniss a loaf of bread. After Katniss places flowers on Rue’s body, she receives this humble gift from the poor district and knows they must have sacrificed a lot to afford it. It’s a subtle act of rebellion — maybe too subtle for a movie, especially without hearing Katniss’ thoughts. Instead, we get the added scene of the riot in District 11, which had me sobbing. So, good choice.
Don’t Miss Our Hunger Games Fab Life of Panem Superfan Contest!
10. Peeta’s dad delivering the cookies. I get why they eliminated Katniss’ friend Madge, since she goes nowhere as a character. But when Peeta’s dad gives her cookies and promises to look after Prim and their mom, we felt like it said a lot about District 12. And Katniss dumping the cookies from the window said even more about her conflicted state of mind with regard to Peeta.
9. Cato literally ripping his hair out after Katniss blows up the pyramid. OK, this one is from my husband, who liked this comic moment. I do wish that the scene after the explosion, along with Katniss’ hearing loss, could have been milked for a little more suspense.
Every time we check back in with the box-office projections for The Hunger Games’ opening weekend, it’s grown by about 20 percent. So let’s just say that at the time of this posting, the above numbers are correct. The L.A. Times says the teenage death match could beat out all the Twilight movies, but not quite reach the record set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 last summer ($169.2 million). But enough about cash. As long as the movie makes enough to justify nice fat budgets for the rest of the franchise — and inspires investments in all the other YA adaptations we’re eagerly awaiting — fans will be thrilled.
Don’t Miss Our Hunger Games Fab Life of Panem Superfan Contest!
Fashion plays such a huge role in The Hunger Games book series and movie, it might as well be another character. Luckily for you, you won’t have to build a time machine or be cryogenically frozen for centuries to enjoy the over-the-top, plain, outrageous and utilitarian looks sported by the good people of Panem. Why? Because those outfits are already here!
Whether from labels like Christian Dior, Zac Posen or Gucci or in the wig wardrobes of stylists for fashionistas like Nicki Minaj, Kelly Osbourne and Lady Gaga, we found outfits that would look completely natural either feasting on bowl after bowl of lamb stew in the Capitol or shopping at the Hob. We wouldn’t mind if people actually started wearing this looks, either. After all, we don’t want to look like a bunch of Greasy Saes, now do we? Haha, just kidding! That woman is a saint, dog meat soup or not.
And while you’re drooling over the fashion, be sure to enter our FAB Life of Panem Hunger Games superfan giveaway before the deadline on Monday, March 26! If you don’t, you’ll probably regret it, like how we regret that we were born in a time when it’s still unacceptable for men to wear blue eye shadow and lip gloss as a day look!
[Photo: Lionsgate/ Getty Images]
Back when we heard the story about Josh Hutcherson pranking Jennifer Lawrence by putting a dummy tracker-jacker victim in her trailer’s bathroom, making Jen pee in her pants, we thought it was an adorable example of the Hunger Games stars’ rapport. And when Jen told EW about her first words to Woody Harrelson being “Is that a sex swing?” it was just another great moment of many self-deprecating JLaw stories. But when we put on our dirty celebrity blogger hats, we started to worry that stories like these might get twisted in the re-telling. Like when VH1′s Big Morning Buzz Live host Carrie Keagan opened her interview with Lawrence by implying that Woody’s sex swings and “sex dolls hanging out in your bathroom” were symptoms of wild days on the set.
“It wasn’t a sex doll, let’s straighten that out right quick!” Lawrence laughed. ” ‘Jennifer Lawrence has a sex doll in her trailer.’ I bring it with me on every set. My requirements: A double banger trailer and a sex doll. No, it was a mutilated corpse and it was sitting on my toilet, and I don’t think anyone would want to use it as a sex doll.”
There are many, many reasons why we do NOT envy The Hunger Games‘ Katniss Everdeen. How would we ever choose between a kind and gentle Peeta, and a strong and reliable Gale? And more to the point, how would we ever choose between an adorable Josh Hutcherson and undeniably hot Liam Hemsworth? We’ll leave that up to Katniss and you!
This week we are pitting the two handsome stars against each other in the ultimate Hunger Games Hotness showdown! A few months ago, Liam became a hotness champ when he battled his hunky brother, Chris Hemsworth and won 72 percent of the hotness vote, but can you really resist Josh’s charm? Are you going to side with Miley Cyrus and vote for her man Liam, or has Josh won your heart? View shots of these cuties in our gallery below and make your voice heard by voting in our poll!
Related: Hunger Games Fans, Squee With Us And Enter To Win Some Superfan Prizes
In case you didn’t notice, we are having a hard time sitting still in our seats this week as we count down the seconds (with Claudius Templesmith’s voice in our heads, natch) until The Hunger Games hits theaters. But now we want to hear all about your excitement for the movie. And as a little incentive, we’re giving away some pretty sweet superfan prizes in a little sweepstakes we’re calling “The FAB Life of Panem Giveaway.”
All you have to do is follow us on Twitter @TheFABlife (if you don’t already) and tweet the Hunger Games scene you’re most looking forward to seeing in the movie (like, “Katniss on fire at the opening ceremonies”) along with the hashtag #HungerGamesVH1 and a link to the rules here (http://www.thefablife.com/?p=227870), just so we know you know them. The Grand Prize winner, selected at random, will get a Hunger Games pin, a one-sheet Katniss character poster, a mini one-sheet Katniss character poster, a one-sheet Hunger Games holiday/stadium poster, a mini one-sheet holiday/stadium poster, and a final one-sheet Hunger Games poster. You can create an all-Panem room in your house with all those posters, or be nice and share with your friends. We’ll also give one runner-up a one-sheet Katniss character poster, a mini one-sheet Katniss character poster and a one-sheet Hunger Games holiday/stadium poster.
Oh, how we love this girl. When faced with the pressure of a Letterman interview last night, on top of the impending release of The Hunger Games and what has to be months and months of pent-up jitters, Jennifer Lawrence did exactly what we would have done in the same situation: girl lost her damn mind. “I’m a troll,” the Winter’s Bone actress declared nervously when Dave asked about watching herself on screen. She then launched into an amazing stream of word vomit: “I hate myself. Don’t go see the movie because I’m a troll. I think the movie is great but their biggest mistake was me.” Celebrities! They’re just like us: unable to contain their deep-seated self-loathing! This isn’t the first time Lawrence has gone beyond humble and plunged into cringe-worthy in a moment of panic. In fact, check out some of her most self-deprecating quotes from the ongoing Hunger Games onslaught…
You would think that would three wardrobe changes in the course of one evening, something would fall through the cracks. Not so with Jennifer Lawrence and her team of stylists. The actress really made The Hunger Games promotional rounds in New York yesterday and her trio of outfits have us doing a slow clap. J.Law started the evening heading to a taping of The Late Show With David Letterman, wearing the outfit on the left. You can’t fault the black Raoul dress with the diamond neckline, especially when paired with those awesome Jimmy Choo heels. She ended up changing the dress for the show and left wearing it, so we got a good luck. It’s the gorgeous black and dull gold panelled Prabal Gurung dress in the middle, with the same Choos. Remember Jennifer’s gold The Hunger Games world premiere dress? That was Prabal Gurung too.
Lastly, Jennifer had to get to a couple of different stops which included a cast signing and a screening of THG hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein. She, of course, wore Calvin Klein for it — but check out that dress (on the right.) That’s quick a sexy, plunging neckline, but the rest of it so elegant. The silk, pleated forest green cocktail number is a total hit with us. But is it with you? We want to know whether you like the sartorial direction in which Jennifer is heading. We have a poll with all three dresses itemized. Which one is a keeper?
[Photos: Splash News Online]
Related: Jennifer Lawrence Is All Mockingjay On Hunger Games Red Carpet
As a Hunger Games fan since 2008, I have to admit that I was considerably nervous at the screening last night. I mean, all the interviews and teaser clips and trailers and images seemed to indicate that Gary Ross was getting things right, but I was still holding my breath. I’ve been burned before. So, yeah, the tension headache I had on my ride home was caused as much by that suspense as by anything Seneca Crane cooked up for the 74th annual games. But I’m here to tell you that my fears were unfounded. I mean, it wasn’t a flawless movie, of course, but it was exactly the right movie. If you want to be surprised by ALL the ways in which it is right, stop reading now. But if you want to alleviate your own tension headache, read on. This will not be too spoilery for anyone who’s read the books.
1. There is no overbearing orchestration. The trailers make it seem like all the dramatic scenes are accompanied by eerie oboes and such, but thankfully, no. There is some music, of course. But at several moments, particularly at the beginning, there is nothing but dialogue and the natural sounds of District 12. Thank you, Gary Ross, for trusting that your actors can act and your screenwriter can write and your audience can understand when to be sad or happy or scared.
2. There are moments of stark realism that will take your breath away. I’m not talking about tributes spearing each other. I’m talking about a grim morning in the Seam. Effie’s overly powdered face at the reaping. The screeching of her microphone. The hollow sound of President Snow’s voice as the Hunger Games propaganda movie is projected to the silent audience. And oh, god, the three-finger salute to Katniss.
3. Jennifer Lawrence. Katniss is not all fierce arrow-slinging badass. Mostly, she is a girl. Even though she’s had to grow up fast and take care of her family, she looks vulnerable and/or unsure of herself at all the right times.