The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a month-and-a-half away from release and could shatter box-office records on its opening weekend. Advanced ticket sales for the much-anticipated sequel to 2012’s The Hunger Games have already, well, caught fire since becoming available on October 1st.
Even if fewer people show up to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘s opening weekend than to the original film’s, it could still have the biggest opening for a fall release. The current record-holder is The Twilight Saga: New Moon with $142.8 million. But will fans of Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular young adult thrillers be as forgiving of changes from the novel?
Although fan response was generally positive to the original, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence revealed in an interview with NY Mag that he has worked to fix some of their biggest criticisms of Gary Ross’s original. For instance, there will be a greater emphasis on the love triangle between Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her suitors, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth). “I felt the love story in general was, um, a bit buried in the first one,” Lawrence said. “I wanted to bring the love story to the surface.”
The director also revealed that he has dropped the shaky handheld camerawork that bothered audiences of the first film. “I think a lot of people will be happy to hear that,” he says. Lawrence then went on to say that the CGI, done by Weta Digital, will be much improved. As fans of the second instalment know, the arena setting for the 75th Hunger Games is flashy and multi-faceted.
With expectations for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire reaching its apex, the series’ biggest fans should have some of their fears tamed by Lawrence’s comments. The director’s last film effort was a disappointing adaptation of a beloved bestseller – 2011’s Water for Elephants – so let’s hope that Francis Lawrence actually has a top-tier final product here.
Are there other problems with the first film that you hope are mended for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Let us know in the comments below.