March 23, 2012. A date that lives in many a Hunger Games fan’s fond memories. Because it was the day that the first movie came out in the US and many other countries, give or take a day. Yes, three years ago, we saw the first Hunger Games, and watched it become a legit phenomenon. No spin needed here- the massive $152 million US opening weekend broke all kinds of records.
You see, waaaay back then, when a movie came out on a certain weekend, it TRULY came out that day. No 8pm showings the night before. No, back in 2012, if you wanted to see the first showing of The Hunger Games you had to stay up until midnight. And so at 12:01, the showings began.
From my personal experience, that 12:01 showing definitely indicated what a BIG DEAL this movie was going to be. I saw it in one of those megaplexes with 18 screens. And they had at least 8 of them reserved for 12:01 showings. And they had 3am showings as well! And the place was PACKED. I think they used all 8 of those theaters with nary an empty seat to spare. There were lots of people dressed up. The most popular were the Capitolesque Effie types, but there were also those decked out in t-shirts of various districts. The excitement was REAL all throughout the movie. I remember feeling very overwhelmed. There were a few parts that fell flat for me, like the tribute parade. I’m sorry, but that was just badly executed. And not enough time given to develop Peeta’s character. Why Gary Ross, WHY?
But overall I really loved the movie and felt that the book was treated respectfully while also understanding the necessity of making it work for the screen. I went back 3 more times in the next two weeks, so I must have felt pretty good about it.
One more to go!