No one expected 'The Hunger Games' to do as well as it did. Sure, everyone was expecting a big hit, but no one was expecting the major blockbuster numbers the film pulled off when it was released back in March. Naturally, Lionsgate did the fiscally (if not creatively) responsible thing: they put a sequel on the front burner and turned up the heat. Today, it was revealed that 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' is set to begin filming in Atlanta this July.
The Hunger Games
One of the big casting decisions for 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' (as it is now so artfully titled) is the role of Finnick Odair, a survivor of previous games who's called back in for one more fight. Supposedly the choice is down to three actors: Armie Hammer, Garrett Hedlund, and Taylor Kitsch.
It took four weeks for another film to dethrone 'The Avengers' from the top of the box office, but that dethroning occurred with a whimper, not a battle cry. 'Men in Black 3' arrived on the scene and proved that advance hype and high tracking are abstract concepts that don't always reflect reality. $55 million isn't an opening that'll have executives committing seppuku, but for a film that was expected to open to north of $80 million, it's a definitely a solid kick in the groin (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Like cockroaches lurking in the darkness waiting for their chance to attack the fruits of someone else's labor, writer/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer ('Date Movie,' 'Epic Movie,' 'Disaster Movie,' et al.) sit quietly, antennae twitching, primed for their attack. Their targets this time around: 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Avengers.'
We're only a couple months away from the shooting of 'Catching Fire,' Lionsgate's hot in pre-production follow-up to this spring's smash hit 'The Hunger Games' and it looks the film needs a new writer. Simon Beaufoy has been the credited writer for a while, and we know that Francis Lawrence is attached to direct, but it looks like they're bringing in 'Little Miss Sunshine' scribe Michael Arndt to polish the script.
Normally, the Weekend Box Office Report tends to shy away from covering the international box office. However, we're making an exception this week, mainly because the domestic box office was hopelessly anemic and 'The Avengers' opened everywhere not called the United States and took in an absolutely absurd amount of cash. Between 39 territories, Marvel's hotly anticipated Superhero Team-Up Extravaganza earned an astonishing $178.4 million, shattering opening records across the globe.