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Girl On Fire: 5 Things That Worked In 'The Hunger Games' & 5 That Didn't

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 26, 2012 12:05 PM
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  • 22 Comments
If you heard the sound of popping champagne corks and cheering in Los Angeles over the weekend, it’s more than likely that it was the celebrations over at Lionsgate HQ. The mini-major were built on low-budget genre fare like “Saw,” but hoped that their adaptation of young-adult publishing phenomenon “The Hunger Games,” co-written and directed by “Seabiscuit” helmer Gary Ross, would push them into the blockbuster game for the first time. And boy, did it ever. In only three days, it surpassed “Fahrenheit 9/11” as the company's biggest ever grosser, taking in around $155 million, making it the third biggest domestic opener of all time, and the most successful non-sequel ever. What’s more, with mostly positive reviews and an A-grade Cinemascore, the stage is set for two sequels that will be licences to print money.

Review: 'The Hunger Games' Is Thoughtful, Thrilling Popular Entertainment That Genuinely Deserves To Be A Franchise

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • March 16, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Complexity and understatement are two criminally under-utilized values in most mainstream movies these days, but they’re at the core of, and the chief reason for the success of “The Hunger Games.” Director Gary Ross, screenwriter of the proletariat presidential fantasy “Dave” and writer-director of the social-consciousness-as-sci-fi tome “Pleasantville,” has always engaged his subjects with a light and yet substantial touch, but his adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ acclaimed young-adult novel is a truly remarkable achievement: he turns escapism into a deeply emotional experience. Instantly razing comparisons – qualitative especially -- to other female-friendly series such as “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” is the first film in a long time that deserves Hollywood’s instant-franchise ambitions because it appeals to genre fans regardless of gender by crafting a story that’s both epic and intimate, spectacular and subtle.

Oscar-Winner Simon Beaufoy Confirmed To Write 'Hunger Games' Sequel 'Catching Fire,' Gary Ross Returning To Direct

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 17, 2012 9:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
With any franchise that's based on younger actors, getting a steady stream of films is crucially important; without a "Harry Potter" or "Twilight" film every eighteen months or so, you end up with a lead creeping up on their thirties by the time the series comes to an end. And so it goes with "The Hunger Games," Lionsgate's great hope for the next big teen-friendly franchise. With a ready-made trilogy of books from author Suzanne Collins, there's source material already in place, and even though the first film, written and directed by "Seabiscuit" helmer Gary Ross, won't hit theaters for a couple of months yet, the studio is already making plans for a sequel.

Watch: Full Trailer For 'The Hunger Games' Is Mostly Convincing

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 14, 2011 9:25 AM
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  • 14 Comments
If a trailer's going to bow on "Good Morning America," it feels like you're safe in making some assumptions on the content of that trailer. Something frothy, we would imagine, in the vein of "New Year's Eve" or "Eat Pray Love," perhaps. At the very most, something from the latest Disney film, bearing in mind that ABC is a subsidiary of Disney. Not on our shortlist? A violent, dystopian sci-fi film about children made to fight each other to the death for the benefit of the general public. 

Carey Mulligan Joining Director Gary Ross For Sci-Fi Actioner 'Outback'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • June 28, 2011 3:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments
26 year old British actress Carey Mulligan may want to think about getting a second home down under. The "Never Let Me Go" and "An Education" actress is already set to start filming Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" in Australia later this summer and now she's boarded another picture that will take her down to Oz.

Danny Elfman Makes Peace With Sam Raimi To Score 'Oz The Great and Powerful'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 20, 2011 12:55 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Composer Also In Talks For 'The Hunger Games'Update: Movies.com confirms that Danny Elfman will be scoring "The Hunger Games" with T. Bone Burnett. That's pretty awesome.

Bow Selector: Katniss Gets Her Archery On In New Pictures Of Jennifer Lawrence In 'The Hunger Games'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 19, 2011 10:21 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Yesterday's first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in one of the most eagerly anticipated films of next year (by those who've read the book anyway) wasn't enough for you? Well good news: EW's issue with Lawrence on the cover hits newsstands imminently, and The Film Stage have acquired some scans of more images of Lawrence in costume, which are marginally more action packed. Well, one is, showing the young star wielding a bow like she was heading for the gold medal in 2012.

EW Debut First Look At Jennifer Lawrence As Katniss Everdeen In 'The Hunger Games'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 18, 2011 7:31 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Our prayers have been answered, and the daily casting updates for "The Hunger Games," for the most part announcing nobodies who'll barely be in the film, seem to have dried up, with the film's 'tributes' -- those competing in the dystopian blood sports of the title -- now fully cast. Does that mean that things will be quiet until the film debuts its first trailer? Don't be stupid.

'Hunger Games' Helmer Gary Ross Sets Up Cyrano De Bergerac Reworking At New Regency

  • By Catherine Scott
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  • May 13, 2011 3:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment
With the flurry of "The Hunger Games" casting going on in the last few weeks, director Gary Ross is almost set to start filming what seems to be one of the most eagerly-anticipated films of next year, at least to its vociferous fanbase. As long as it succeeds (and, financially, it probably will), Ross will be set to take on any project he wants. According to THR, that film will be a contemporary retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac legend, in which a plain man must seduce his love for a more handsome and richer man. In the kind of move that we're staggered hasn't yet happened, his version would utilize all the social media tools of today in order to provide a modern spin.
More: Gary Ross

Jennifer Lawrence Finally Locked In For 'The Hunger Games'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 17, 2011 1:20 AM
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  • 10 Comments
The process of casting a high-profile, much sought-after role in a major would-be franchise is a complex one, with the advent of movie blogs such as ourselves. Every stage of the process is now as public as it could be, save some kind of weekly reality show documenting it, and it has the side effect of making the casting process seem endless. It's only six weeks or so since rumors of any kind started flying around regarding Gary Ross' adaptation of immensely popular young adult novel trilogy "The Hunger Games," but it's dominated the news to the extent that we're nothing but delighted that a decision's finally been made on the casting of Katniss, the central role.

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