The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — Teaser (November 22)
Silver: The withholding of imagery from the actual Hunger Games themselves was blatant in the marketing of the first film — the trailer gave only a brief glimpse of Tributes darting off their posts, choosing instead to focus on the characters, and specifically on Katniss’s plight.
This tactic worked so well the first time around that Lionsgate appears to be running it back for the sequel, since this (long) teaser is put together with moments from the first third of the book. It’s a nice reintroduction to the leads, but it also gets that “What the hell is Philip Seymour Hoffman doing in this movie?” moment out of the way, so as not to distract us too much later.
For a couple of years now, Lenny Kravitz has been futzing around the outer edges of the motion picture game, with small roles in Precious and The Hunger Games. Now, though, our man Lenny has gone and landed a big fish. As Deadline reported on Monday, Kravitz has booked his first lead role — and in a Marvin Gaye biopic, no less.
The untitled project will be directed by Julien Temple and "will focus on the time Gaye spent in Europe in the early 1980s, when the soul singer attempted to get his addictions under control and career back on track with the help of British music promoter Freddy Cousaert." Ambitious! OK, look, I know some of you are concerned. Should a guy that's been on-screen for roughly six and a half minutes, you're thinking, really take on one of music's most treasured icons? And to that I say: Bro, Cinna can handle it.
Parents of teen and tween girls must have felt somewhat conflicted when Suzanne Collins's young-adult novel The Hunger Games came out. On one hand, it featured Katniss Everdeen, a young female protagonist who, unlike Bella Swan of Twilight, exhibited agency in her life and choices and wasn't particularly interested in either of the boys in her orbit, never mind mooning over them to the exclusion of all other activity. On the other hand, part of the reason Katniss doesn't waste a lot of energy thinking about her future romantic prospects is that she's determined not to bring any children into a dystopia in which teenagers are forced by the state to battle each other to the death until only one is left standing.
Right down to today's news of her engagement to boyfriend of three years Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus has gracefully walked the line between showbiz glitz (marrying a Hunger Games star!) and down-home values (she's 19!). She also gave Hemsworth a penis cake one time for his birthday, which exists entirely outside of the Nashville-to-Hollywood spectrum. Cyrus and Thor's brother have been on-again off-again for the past couple years — word to all young lovers, it may "just last 10 minutes," but salvia sows the seeds of eternal discord. Now it seems these two finally realized that the only way to ensure that an on-again off-again relationship stays on is to buy a ring (and a trending topic on Twitter). Basically, Miley and Liam will be in love forever and we should all wish them the best and be very jealous.
For the first time since it hit theaters a month back, The Hunger Games has not won the weekend box office. In a surprising development, the honor has gone instead to Sony Pictures' ensemble romantic comedy Think Like a Man, an adaptation of Steve Harvey's best-selling self-help book. The flick finished in the vicinity of $33 million, doubling its own studio's predictions for how it would do. How did Think pull off the upset?
With Gary Ross out, Lionsgate is making moves to find a director for the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. And, as could have reasonably been expected, they have no shortage of fancy names to choose from. Deadline's Mike Fleming reports: "Lionsgate met with The Orphanage helmer Juan Antonio Bayona, and ... also discussed Attack the Block director Joe Cornish. But Bayona appears to be busy — though he’s not completely out of it — and Cornish didn’t get to the point of a meeting. If I had to guess, I would think the likely candidate to be [Moneyball's Bennett] Miller ... The sticking point: he wanted to push until spring so he could make Foxcatcher for Fox. Lionsgate wants to start by August and doesn’t want to wait. That could put [I Am Legend director Francis] Lawrence in the driver’s seat. We should know the answer in a matter of days."
Because [hella dramatic cannon noise] Gary Ross is out. After guiding the first flick in the franchise to just ungodly sums of money (like, at this point, Lionsgate could probably breed, birth, and train an army of bloodthirsty murder-unicorns and still have enough left over for a Cinnabon), Ross has announced he will not be returning to the franchise for the sequel, Catching Fire. The news didn’t come completely out of the blue, as reports had already been circulating that Ross and Lionsgate were butting heads over his salary demands. But, at least according to the statements from Gary and the studio, the final decision to bounce on the franchise had nothing to do with money.
Everybody wants to take shots at the throne. And, with its box office haul rounding to $400 million (it might just get there by the time you finish this sentence!), The Hunger Games is most definitely king. It’s not surprising, then, that rumbles about the franchise’s crumbling have already begun.
Exactly how good is Katniss at killing people? Certainly, that is in no way the point of The Hunger Games. As its star Jennifer Lawrence explained to EW, “These kids are only killing each other because if they don’t, they’ll die. It’s needless, pointless, unjustified violence. So there’s nothing cool about her.” But, come on — exactly how good is Katniss at killing people? Our heroine goes about her work in the deathly arena as a long-shot dark horse, and her efforts are a tribute to will and perseverance. But is it really that simple? Unfortunately, a death-by-death analysis of Katniss in the arena reveals some hard truths about Everdeen’s skill set. [Note: This post is FULL OF SPOILERS. If you weren't one of the people who chipped in to the $155 $152.2 million opening weekend, you probably want to move on.]
OK, no, not really; that’d be impossible. But The Hunger Games did have a massive opening weekend, outperforming even the rosiest of box office predictions to snare $155 million — the third-highest opening weekend in history!
Perhaps not since the publication of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal has a nation been so abuzz about a popular entertainment satirically advocating the institutionalized murder of children, but with The Hunger Games finally arriving in every multiplex in America today, we can now officially move on from the interminable months of pre-release hysteria to an opening weekend of post-release relief. Tracking indicates the film will likely pull in anywhere from $130 million to $487 trillion dollars in the next three days, so there's a pretty good statistical chance you've already decided to join your friends, neighbors, and junior-high-age babysitters in rushing out to see the movie. But for those who require a little more information before ponying up for a ticket, we're here to help you determine the wisdom of the expenditure. Read on, secure in the knowledge that by the time you reach the end of this piece, you'll be fully equipped to make the right decision about the allocation of your weekend entertainment dollars.
Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli: Nothing ever goes right for 90210's Kelly Taylor, perpetual victim of circumstance. "Watching a cow on her Santa Ynez, California, ranch tend to its newborn calf, Jennie Garth offered up a reassuring message to her daughters" as cameras rolled for her new reality show. "That's all a baby needs. His mama. Just the two of them. That makes a family." It was "undoubtedly bittersweet" as Garth and "her husband of 11 years, Twilight actor Peter Facinelli — had decided to separate." They made the split public in March, but "it's been over for months, maybe even a year. They kept up some sort of charade for their kids. They've been working on the marriage for a while. It was not something they took lightly." Facinelli experienced a popularity bump from his role as the Cullen patriarch in the Twilight franchise. "He used to be the one with the kids when she was a bigger star. She was jealous of his new life." The new life included "the attention of throngs of women — which unnerved Garth." Of course it did. Throngs! "She was jealous if he would even talk to another woman." Which he was doing, apparently, "hitting clubs with his younger castmates" in Vancouver, "including preferred wingman Kellan Lutz." In 2010 Garth said "I yearn for time with Peter, just so we can connect." Maybe Dylan McKay's still available. Just kidding, Dylan would totally be dead by now.
Miley Cyrus vs. Jennifer Lawrence In ... The Hemsworth Games: "While cuddling up to her boyfriend of nearly three years, Hunger Games hunk Liam Hemsworth, the former teen queen couldn't help but notice that her man's hands were clutching his phone. Miley saw that he was texting his co-star, Jennifer Lawrence. She was livid!" This article is already better than The Marriage Plot. With Miley's "worst fear becoming a reality" she's become "desperate to keep Liam," getting tattoos with him and obsessing daily over the state of her hot body. "While it would have annoyed Miley to see Liam, 22, texting any woman late at night, the jealous star's blood boiled to learn that he was chatting with the beautiful, talented Jennifer." That's right, Hollywood, only one beautiful talented girl allowed at a time! "Miley is threatened by Jennifer's career and confidence." After Miley's last thespian effort, The Last Song, tanked, "Jennifer has replaced her as Hollywood's new It Girl. And now Miley's terrified that she'll replace her as Liam's girlfriend too." Not to worry, Miley, Lawrence is smitten with her X-Men: First Class co-star Nicholas Hoult. But shooting the next two Hunger Games movies in the fall will isolate Lawrence and Hemsworth from their partners, and "their relationship will have another Miley-free opportunity to blossom." The panicked Cyrus "is not going to let him go so easily!"
Silver: I’m going to start by stating the obvious — books and movies are not the same thing. Just speaking to the form, a written narrative is a much more enveloping and demanding (in a good way) medium since the majority of the experience is left to the reader’s imagination. This is not saying that movies are an inferior medium; they just employ different and more overt tools to tell stories and extract responses. Therefore, certain scenarios that work on the page, do not, and cannot, translate to the screen.