'The Hunger Games' TV Rights Won by ABC Family

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If you (like us) saw 'The Hunger Games' this past weekend, you might have been a bit surprised by the PG-13 rating or the surprising number of young folk in the audience with you, given the violent nature of the story.  Still, horrific gladiatorial games amidst children apparently isn't enough for one network to pass up rights to the film.

Though 'The Hunger Games' has only been in theatres for a single weekend, Deadline TV is reporting that youth network ABC Family has picked up the basic cable airing rights to the film from Lionsgate,  to begin circulation in 2014.  In addition to 'The Hunger Games,' which opened this weekend to the tune of $155 million at the North American box office (the third-highest-grossing opening weekend of all time), the family network also obtained the rights to the film's inevitable sequel, 'Catching Fire.'

Says ABC Family president Michael Riley of the film's success, “This tremendous opening weekend reinforces what we have already learned — a powerful heroine, themes of romance and iconic characters will keenly resonate with our Millennial audience."  Mind you, we don't watch very much of 'Pretty Little Liars' or 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager,' but it's still a rather dark film to be celebrated on a family network, no?

In any case, 'The Hunger Games' is the second major franchise to land its basic cable rights on ABC Family, the other being the similarly record-smashing 'Harry Potter' films.  The addition of 'The Hunger Games' to their stable puts ABC Family on track to rival FX in major movie grabs, who recently negotiated deals for both box-office winners '21 Jump Street' and 'The Lorax.' FX also maintains exclusive rights to the 'Twilight' franchise, which frequently rivals 'The Hunger Games' in success and critical evaluation.

2014 seems like a long way off, but do you think ABC Family made the right decision in picking up rights to 'The Hunger Games?'  Have you even seen the movie yet, to know what you're missing?  Give us your take in the comments, and get off your butt and get out to the theater!

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