You've probably noticed that the trailers for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire look about 1000% better than the early looks we had at The Hunger Games. It's common for the first film in a would-be franchise to take a low-budget approach, with the studio hedging their bets on a property that may or may not catch on-- remember how much better the sparkly vampires looked in New Moon compared to Twilight? But the extra gloss on Catching Fire has come at a cost that might come as a surprise-- according to The Hollywood Reporter, the budget for Catching Fire is 67% higher than it was for The Hunger Games, coming in at a price tag of more than $130 million.
Where did all that money go? Well, like I said, a lot of it you can see on the screen-- director Francis Lawrence was able to shoot in both Georgia and Hawaii, while Hunger Games director Gary Ross was limited to just North Carolina, and he added five days to the production schedule. Another $10 million went to boosting the effects budget, which is why Katniss and Peeta's flaming Capitol outfits look so much better this time. And though Jennifer Lawrence experienced the biggest pay raise, making $10 million for Catching Fire as opposed to just $500,000 (plus box office share) for Hunger Games, her lead male co-stars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson got raises too.
The bigger investment makes perfect sense-- The Hunger Games made $691 million worldwide off that $78 million budget last year, and anticipation for Catching Fire is already out of control. $130 million is still a pretty modest budget for a guaranteed blockbuster; The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Oz The Great And Powerful and even Fast & Furious 6 all cost more. And when you go see Catching Fire, you ought to notice the difference. Compare the trailers for the first and second films to witness the change for yourself, and watch it all play out on the big screen when Catching Fire opens November 22.
Staff Writer at CinemaBlend
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