The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I is a huge box office hit. In fact, The Hunger Games is arguably the most successful book to film franchise since the days of Harry Potter, with each film drawing impressive numbers upon opening and strongly competing with the rest of the market in the weeks after. Now, it's pulling a page out of the '90s playbook and officially offering a hit tie-in single.
According to Vogue, the popular song "The Hanging Tree,", sung by Jennifer Lawrence herself during the film, is now the second most popular song on iTunes. You can listen to the short, but powerful song below.
The song, written in partnership by The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins and indie rock outfit The Lumineers, invokes both the propaganda and the Depression era South vibe that The Hunger Games has always been famous for. Yet despite Lawrence's self belief that she can't really sing that well, she's carried enough of a tune to not only make some noise on the iTunes charts, but to also break her way into the top 20 of the UK's official singles chart. It's even more popular than "Yellow Flicker Beat," the single that preceded the film's release and was performed by international superstar Lorde.
So why has this song caught fire with audiences, considering The Hunger Games isn't a franchise primarily known for its music, and this is the first time we've heard Jennifer Lawrence actually sing? A big part of the success of this song is, undoubtedly, the fact that Lawrence's star is shining pretty strong right now. Again, if you look at the numbers The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I put up in its opening weekend, you'd be hard pressed to find another movie with similar numbers not named Transformers: Age Of Extinction. While the first film made Lawrence into a star, it's the growth of that power that's helped kick off the stratospheric success of the franchise on a whole.
That in mind, it wouldn't be a surprise if, much like The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, those in charge of The Hunger Games franchise found themselves trying to make lightning strike twice by penning an original song for Jennifer Lawrence to perform over the closing credits to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II. Not only could the single sales generate some decent side action, but it could also lead to a Best Original Song nomination at the Oscars.
For now though, you can find "The Hanging Tree," on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I Score soundtrack, as well as in theaters with the film itself. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II was officially released on November 20, 2015.