Monday, 26 March 2012

The Hunger Games

Hi guys. I want you to peer over to the top left at the box office gadget. Yes, that number is not an error; the Hunger Games has opened to 155 million, the third highest opening for a non-summer, non-sequel film. I'm absolutely certain this was due to its heavy promotional campaigns. There wasn't a single website, network, news station or billboard that didn't run an ad for this movie. It was so in-your-face that I got fed up of HG at one point.

There are a lot of excellent movies that never got half the publicity Hunger Games got, and I want know why?

My theory is this: We are, in fact, sheep. Our buying habits are influenced by trends and has very little to do with preference. For the last ten years or so, we, the avid movie goers, have been led to believe that there will always be a blockbuster franchise to keep us salivating with anticipation. First it was Harry Potter and then Twilight. Now that these two have ended or are coming to a close, we, the sheep, will soon have no one to herd us. What is a poor sheep to do?

BOOM! In comes Hollywood (the herder). They can't lose the sheep to the wolves (independent thinking) so they scramble to lead us to greener pasture. And what is this pasture? Why, Hunger Games of course! 

Hollywood needed a new franchise--and fast. They knew they had to hook that core audience created by Twilight and Harry Potter and since most of that demographic were girls 14-25, they were aware that shiny new pasture had to come from a young adult novel. A search here, a jump there and (ta-da!) the most anticipated movie of 2012 was found: The Hunger Games. 

I am all for blockbuster franchises (it gives the sheep something to look forward to and spend their money on), but why just one? I am pretty sure there are a lot of FANTASTIC YA novels out there that have great stories just like the Hunger Games, so why over-hype one and not the other? You tell me 'cause I don't know. But I will say this though: a lot of writers will now hope their work will get the same treatment as the Hunger Games, and I must sadly inform you that this is delusional. These blockbuster movie franchises aren't created based on quality or even likability, it's an industry employing the full use of its power to maintain THE TREND. Another important factor is time. Breaking into a market at the right moment is crucial. It can make stars and shatter dreams. In this instance, the Hunger Games had a perfect storm of industry backing and near impeccable timing.    


elizabeth seckman said...

I really need to read those books.

Cassie Mae said...

I'm a big fan of blockbusters. I want to see all my fav. YA books go to the big screen. I know they saw $$$ and rightly so (obviously). I think all of Nicolas Sparks books are going to the screen because of the money they'll make.

I don't like the in your face advertising though. Honestly, HG didn't need to do that. It was already popular enough I'm sure it would've gotten a ton of money whether they shoved it down our throats or not. Because the books were awesome. And teens go all out for this kind of stuff. (Adults too)

Elise Fallson said...

I haven’t seen the movie and not planning on it (I feel so alone, lol). But I agree that now is not the time to be writing dystopian novels in the hopes of making it to the big screen. However, if you have an idea that's a little different but maintains the same structural framework of HP, Twil, and HGs, then you may have a future blockbuster. Just hold onto it until the last HG movie is released. You've got three years. (:

T.D. McFrost said...

Elizabeth: The books are great, you're missing out. :D

Cassie: I don't think I've ever seen a movie publicized as much as HG. Not even the last Harry Potter had this much publicity.

I would very much like for another teen adaptation to get the same treatment as HG later down the road. It's only fair IMHO.

Elise: In order for that future blockbuster to be born, the herder and the sheep will have to be in need of one--almost like when the world is in peril and desperately crying for a superhero.

Margo Kelly said...

We are a part of capitalism. That is a fact.

I am not one of the "sheep" however ... :) because I make my own decisions and often go my own direction.

With that said, I enjoyed the books, and I enjoyed the movie.


Have a great week!

T.D. McFrost said...

You too Margo! :D

Kelley said...

I'm with you. There are so many great books out there. Lets do this with more than one series, right?

Jay Noel said...

Just look at this summer's line-up: The Avengers, Men in Black 3, a remake of Total Recall, The Expendables 2, another Bourne movie, another Madagascar movie, another Ice Age movie, the third Batman...They want bankable movies out right now.

So we get stuck with sequels or rehashing.

ryan field said...

I honestly don't know much about The Hunger Games, other than all the hype I've read. And I have read a few good YA novels in the past couple of months. "Trapped" by Michael Northrope was one of them. Excellent.

I do know that sometimes there's no explanation for "the buzz" when it comes to what will take off and what won't. "Fifty Shades of Grey," a self-pubbed fanfic book is now the new craze for women readers. They call it "mommy porn," because it's one of the few times a BDSM erotic romance has crossed into the mainstream. Why the hype for FSoG? I don't know. I didn't see much advertising for the book. It's like one thing leads to another, the author gets lucky, and the book becomes huge.

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

Duncan In Kuantan

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