By Kylie Chesser
Georgetown’s City Lights Theater almost couldn’t hold the crowd last week as The Hunger Games fans lined up and poured in throughout Thursday afternoon leading up to the midnight premiere. Students sacrificed sleep for the opportunity to see it with their friends before anyone else, with some even dressing up and throwing pre-movie parties for the occasion.
“I had so much homework due the next day, and a work shift to cover too,” Laura Steed said. “I was forced to pull an all-nighter because of the premiere, but it was worth it—the excitement in the crowd helped wake me up, and the movie was awesome. I’m glad I went.”
Other cinemas across the country were packed that night and on through the next day: box office reports praised the film as a record-breaking success, raking in a $155 million debut.
“The Hunger Games turnout surprised me,” Nick Kellogg said. “I saw it the day after the release, and showings were still selling out on through Sunday. I was lucky to get a ticket at all.”
Fans of the book series by Suzanne Collins proved worthy of rivaling ‘twi-hards’ and Harry Potter lovers, as opening weekend ticket sales came third of all-time domestic records only behind The Deathly Hallows, Part II and The Dark Knight.
“I’ve never been to a midnight showing before,” Carina Rubalcava said on the drive to the theater. “Not even for Harry Potter. I still have homework to do, but this should be worth it—I’m so excited!”
Though pieces of the book had to be left out of the film, the movie remained true to the spirit of the series and stayed in line with its author.
“I’m so happy that the director stuck to the book,” Steed said. “They cut Madge and the backstory of the mockingjay out of the film, but it was executed very well. The cuts made perfect sense and the story line flowed nicely. So many book-based movies aren’t successful with that kind of thing. I am very happy with the outcome. They really got the feeling of the characters and settings.”
The contemporary filming style surprised some, helping bring out the intensity of the games with various new methods.
“The camera shook a lot during fighting scenes, cutting from Katniss to Clove and that kind of thing,” Kellogg said. “It’s a very clever tactic. The director really puts his audience into the fight, without needing to show any gore to get the intense rhythm of the brawl across. And during running scenes, you don’t hear music—instead, there’s a sound that makes you feel like your ears are ringing, which is very realistic. Overall, the movie was filmed really well, and I loved it.”
The next installment, Catching Fire, is set to release November of next year. If the box office pattern continues, the sequel will be even more successful than The Hunger Games, according to the L.A. Times.
“I absolutely loved the movie,” Andrew Tully said. “I went to the premiere after reading the first book, and I wasn’t disappointed. I wish they had done a few things differently, like depicting Haymitch more accurately, but overall it was done very well. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel and seeing it next year.”