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When Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games was released in March of last year it became an instant phenomenon. Adapted from a best-selling book series and starring Hollywood’s newest and biggest star in Jennifer Lawrence, the film broke opening weekend records with a $152 million take, and by the end of its run it had taken in nearly $700 million globally. But not only did fans and movie-goers like the movie, critics gave it high praise as well, our own Katey Rich calling it a "masterful translation." As a franchise, the series began with a bang – but one has to wonder if that success can be continued with the first sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Scripted by Simon Beaufoy, Michael deBruyn, and Scott Frank and directed by Francis Lawrence, the new film begins as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her fellow Hunger Games champion Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) get ready to embark on the Victory Tour that will lead them through all of the districts of Panem. This is quite troubling to President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who realizes that Katniss is starting to be seen as a public figure who is inspiring ideas of revolution. In order to try and silence the iconoclast and her followers, it’s announced that for the special 75th annual Hunger Games all of the tributes will be former champions.
So far it seems as though the movie is definitely living up to the franchise-starters legacy – and according to some it’s even surpassing it. As I write this article the sequel stands five percentage points higher than its predecessor on Rotten Tomatoes, and I was more than happy to contribute to the positive score. As I wrote in my review, "it's a satisfying and dramatic new adventure in the now-blockbuster franchise." Audiences have already been rushing to their local cinemas to see it, the film banking $25.2 million on Thursday night. But what do you think of what you saw?
Did you think that the movie was as good as the first one? Do you think that Francis Lawrence was a good replacement for Gary Ross? Has your opinion changed about any of the characters? What surprised you about the movie? What did you hate? Vote in our poll, and hit the comments to let us know your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. And as the title says, SPOILERS ARE WELCOME!
How would you rate The Hunger Games: Catching Fire?