— by CHERRY BELL DAMASCO-FARRINGTON —
With a nearly a month to go until the release of the film, the online ticketing service Fandango is reporting that “The Hunger Games” has already broken the first day advance ticket sales record formerly held by “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”
Rick Butler, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fandangom said, “‘The Hunger Games’is off to a fantastic start. [On Feb. 23], we saw the biggest first-day advance ticketing sales in our company’s nearly 12-year history — which is especially impressive for a March release and a non-sequel.”
Even with the numerous comparisons that have been made to the “Twilight” films since the marketing campaign began for “The Hunger Games,” both movies tend to draw the same crowd, and will both be profitable in their own right. With the recent merger of Lionsgate (“The Hunger Games”) and Summit (“The Twilight Saga”) Entertainment, technically it is not even a competition since both films are now playing for the same team.
Even with the storylines being compared from the supposed love triangle between Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her best friend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) and her fellow District 12 combatant Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and the Bella/Edward or Bella/Jacob conflict, “The Hunger Games” fan base is sounding off on the comparison not being the same. This aspect of the film and novels, however, has not been fully explored in the advertising campaign but instead plays to the anticipation of the battles in the arena for the fans of the novels without showing off any of the larger set pieces or scenes for that matter.
The general viewing audience not yet familiar with the storyline may find the film at this point full of teen angst and nothing of much note when comparing to blockbuster films set to release later in the summer months such as “Avengers” or “The Dark Knight Rises” — which are selling out tickets in IMAX theaters. In my opinion, marketing “The Hunger Games” in the same fashion as “The Twilight Saga” has been the smartest move that the advertisers have done so far.
Judging by the recent announcement from Fandango, things are looking good and Gary Ross’ list of credits — including “Seabiscuit”and “Pleasantville,” both of which were Academy Award nominees — leaves very little doubt that he has created a high quality film and script.
“The Hunger Games” is due out in theaters March 23, 2012.
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