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The Hunger Games Franchise: What went so right (THG, CF) and then so wrong (MJ1, MJ2)

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Ethan Hunt    16,702
2 minutes ago, mrqe93 said:

I wouldn't say J Law's luster is wearing off. She was a top-billed actress in X Men Days of Future Past. However, she hasn't had variation in her roles. After Catching Fire, her exposure to the general movie-going audiences was Mockingjay movies and that X Men movie. American Hustle? She was barely in the movie. And the other movie with Bradley Cooper bombed. It could be tiresome to see the same actress do the same thing again and again every year. I think it could have a little bit if she had released a, for example, comedy film between Hunger Games movies.

Yeah, a 2 year wait, a huge marketing campaign, and lack of split and I would've believed in a 200M OW

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The Futurist    22,365

Audiences are shallow & like fluff entertainment, the Variety provided by The Disney Evil Empire.

 

They liked the Games, like the Capital.

 

Meta This.

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Ethan Hunt    16,702
4 minutes ago, mrqe93 said:

I wouldn't say J Law's luster is wearing off. She was a top-billed actress in X Men Days of Future Past. However, she hasn't had variation in her roles. After Catching Fire, her exposure to the general movie-going audiences was Mockingjay movies and that X Men movie. American Hustle? She was barely in the movie. And the other movie with Bradley Cooper bombed. It could be tiresome to see the same actress do the same thing again and again every year. I think it could have a little bit if she had released a, for example, comedy film between Hunger Games movies.

I like my Jenifer Lawrence with severe emotional trauma

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Ethan Hunt    16,702
3 minutes ago, Jayhawk said:

That's true. Producing stuff like Gods of Egypt is why Lionsgate won't be around a decade from now (maybe sooner), they are pretty much screwed.

They'll find another franchise to.milk

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moviesRus    1,393

JLaw is still a huge draw. I don't think these films would be half as huge if it wasn't for her. The premise of MJ just wasn't as interesting, it went in a very predictable direction (revolution!) and there wasn't really a big money shot in the trailers. 

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kells    138

1. YA fatigue

 

2. No clear plotline for the casual fans to follow. The series that do the best are the ones with a clear, easy to describe purpose. "boy goes to wizard school", "girl falls in love with vampire", "girl survives government sponsored hunting game". Mockingjay went into a government rebellion storyline that was never clearly defined and that no one really cared about. 

 

3. No characters that people were invested in other than Katniss, and even that character was more about Jennifer Lawrence. Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson are great, but did anyone honestly feel as invested in any of those characters as they did Dumbledore, Snape, Hagrid? Beyond the most hard-core book fans, was anyone invested in this love triangle? Was the general audience dying to see what it'd be like when Katniss chooses Peeta like they were for Edward and Bella's wedding? It doesn't seem like it. 

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Ethan Hunt    16,702
2 minutes ago, moviesRus said:

JLaw is still a huge draw. I don't think these films would be half as huge if it wasn't for her. The premise of MJ just wasn't as interesting, it went in a very predictable direction (revolution!) and there wasn't really a big money shot in the trailers. 

What direction did you want them to go? District 13 and the Capitol play nice with one another?

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mrqe93    293

2 minutes ago, mrqe93 said:

I wouldn't say J Law's luster is wearing off. She was a top-billed actress in X Men Days of Future Past. However, she hasn't had variation in her roles. After Catching Fire, her exposure to the general movie-going audiences was Mockingjay movies and that X Men movie. American Hustle? She was barely in the movie. And the other movie with Bradley Cooper bombed. It could be tiresome to see the same actress do the same thing again and again every year. I think it could have a little bit if she had released a, for example, comedy film between Hunger Games movies.

Yeah, a 2 year wait, a huge marketing campaign, and lack of split and I would've believed in a 200M OW

Even as one film theoretically aided by Lionsgate's marketing blitz, J Law's another Oscar win, unfortunate event to a cast member, addition of 3D premium etc, I doubt the film would have done any more than $160 OW. Why? I don't know. For me, two Hunger Games movies were enough... It is not a world/universe that I would love to see more of

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moviesRus    1,393
2 minutes ago, Ethan Hunt said:

What direction did you want them to go? District 13 and the Capitol play nice with one another?

 

Personally I don't care one way or another what they did with this story, but from a marketing standpoint, there wasn't a whole lot of novelty to sell this on. At least MJ1 had the District 13 quirks, which is a place the audience has never seen before. CF had the quarter quell gimmick that I think sold it for a lot of the audience and a cool arena. 

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Frozen    1,508

Mockingjay is good up until the last act and then it falls apart. The author made some bad choices at the end. I understand why she did it, to prove a point about war. But it just doesn't make for a compelling ending. Especially on screen. It needed a big finale and instead went out with a whimper.

 

I also agree with Kells that they needed to develop more characters. Especially with two books being split into one, they had plenty of time to spend showing more of Haymitch, Effy, Johanna, Finnick, Annie, Prim, etc. It just seemed like every character existed for Katniss when she needed them and nothing else. 

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moviesRus    1,393

Oh yeah, the love triangle aspect was a complete dud as well. I don't think anyone really cared that much who Katniss would choose in the end.

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GiantCALBears    8,358

This was a highly successful franchise, from beginning to end. Combine the budget of the two MJs & the gross profits will still be impressive relative to other third movies. Why I don't exactly agree w/ the premise. Yeah there was a drop off but some of the predictions for HG1 were so low that it looks like one of better successes in movie history. This is coming from someone who has never seen the films or read the books. It did fine for what it was.

Edited by GiantCALBears
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Ethan Hunt    16,702
Spoiler

I will say that MJ2 converted me, someone who's always been team Gale throughout the books and the movies, to see why Katniss chose Peeta. So bravo for that.

 

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straggler    511

The Hunger Games-Great premise. Great director. Brilliant, star-making performance by lead actor. Got strong reviews and WOM and rode it all the way to $400 million.

 

Catching Fire-All of the same. Plus had Jennifer just having won an Oscar.

 

Mockingjay Part 1-Went very RIGHT. That amount of money for a Part 1 of the least liked book, a book that really was a buzzkill, was very impressive and its WW take was strong too. The problem was that people made outlandish predictions, not taking the source material into account, adding the effect of the split, and underestimating just how well the first two had performed. 

 

Mockingjay Part 2-Realistically if you factor in everything (the source material, the split, franchise fatigue, crazy world situation) it did pretty well.  

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Ethan Hunt    16,702
1 minute ago, straggler said:

 

 

Mockingjay Part 2-Realistically if you factor in everything (the source material, the split, franchise fatigue, crazy world situation) it did pretty well.  

Maybe if you ignore how well the previous three did.

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straggler    511
1 minute ago, Ethan Hunt said:

Maybe if you ignore how well the previous three did.

I just don't think the final book can sustain two films. Catching Fire wa always going to be peak popularity for the franchise. I wouldn't ignore the first two films, but I think mJ2 needs to be evaluated on its own terms. 

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Ethan Hunt    16,702
Just now, straggler said:

I just don't think the final book can sustain two films. Catching Fire wa always going to be peak popularity for the franchise. I wouldn't ignore the first two films, but I think mJ2 needs to be evaluated on its own terms. 

 

Maybe Catching Fire was always going to peak, sure I can go with that. But MJ2 should've never have been below MJ1. MJ2 is the finale, its the conclusion of everything. It should of at the very least done the same as MJ1

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The Futurist    22,365

The fact that MJ2 went down even further & that badly is puzzling, as I said, not finale effect enthusiasm at all, even more GA abandoning the franchise.

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water    2,555

(sources: MPAA Theatrical Market Statistics reports for 2013 & 2014 (they started making these reports in 2013 so there's no 2012 report for THG))

 

i think it should be pointed out that from CF to MJ1 only attendance of white people dropped. for non-white people attendance remained on-par with CF. and attendance of males dropped more than attendance of females

 

tumblr_inline_nyafkd1olC1qdld5l_1280.png

 

i don't think this is particularly surprising as there are probably a lot of conservative white people and men to an extent who weren't interested in/didn't like the anti-authority message of MJ1, and the obvious parallels between the "good guys" in MJ1 and various social justice movements in real life that have gotten mainstream attention since 2014. of course these themes were present in THG and CF as well, but the games were clearly a strong draw in those movies, while MJ1 and MJ2 were completely about the revolution. that's my best guess for an explanation of this peculiar data.

 

basically according to these numbers, ~30% of white people who showed up for CF didn't come back for MJ1 for some reason, while ~100% of non-white people who watched CF did come back for MJ1. and 22% of males didn't return, while 18% of females didn't return.

 

it will be interesting to see what MJ2 looks like when the 2015 report comes out.

 

 

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