‘Hunger Games’ epic makes box office splash

Movie Reviewer
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Opening with a solid $250 million in the box office, “The Hunger Games” marks the next step forward in Hollywood’s book-to-movie sagas.

“The Hunger Games” provides some serious action and suspenseful film-making that has critics talking. For a PG-13 rated film, it certainly packs a punch.

Excitement surrounding the film’s premiere has been stirred by the wild success of the novel written by Suzanne Collins.

Following in the footsteps of LOTR (“Lord of the Rings,” for all you noobs out there), “Twilight,” and of course, the godfather of all book-to-movie franchises, “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games” cements this trend in current filmmaking.

All of these blockbuster-caliber films drew from hype, fueled largely by the books they were adapted from, to turn their debuts into big box office bucks.

In terms of revenue generated, “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows II” is in the lead among these films with a gross of $380 million; next is “LOTR: The Return of the King” with $377 million; “Twilight: Eclipse” brings up the rear (rightfully so) with $300 million.

Each of these films was the highest rated of their respective series at rottentomatoes.com.

But worry not, “Hunger Games” fans: “The Hunger Games” is still generating revenue.

And we don’t even know if the first film in the series will be the most successful of the saga as far as the big screen is concerned.

In addition to the moola, all of these movies (with the exception of “Twilight”) have received mostly exceptional film reviews.

It is safe to say at this point that the book-to-movie phenomenon happening in Hollywood is putting butts in seats, but are these books’ die-hard fans satisfied with Hollywood’s sometimes half-assed recreations of these narratives?

In the instance of “The Hunger Games,” novelist Suzanne Collins was involved in both the writing and the production of the movie, which probably led to an at least somewhat satisfactory adaptation in her mind.

If you look at the movie in comparison to “Twilight,” the only other series with a strong female lead, “The Hunger Games” blows it out of the water.

On screen, “Twilight” comes across as mainly as a whiny teen love story, accentuated by random intervals of shirtless vamps.

“The Hunger Games” actually has substance, and isn’t just intended for 14-year-old girls.

The positive reactions in the blogosphere have labeled “The Hunger Games” as satisfactory for the average movie-goer and the fans of the novels alike.

Rumors are already buzzing of a video game are already underway, but it’s unclear whether a gory Xbox interpretation of kids killing other kids will gather enough support to actually hit the shelves.

Overall I give the film a B+.

I went into the theater knowing almost every major plot point thanks to my talkative friends, and I still really enjoyed it.
Even fans of the book I have spoken to on campus said they enjoyed it.

It is not directed toward one sex in particular. Any guy who says this movie is just for girls doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

It was one of the fullest theaters I have ever seen at The Movies at Meadville, and it was a Tuesday.