The movies were an instant hit and became the only franchise to have three movies grossing more than $100 million. They broke several records, with the second installment, ‘Catching Fire,’ being the most popular of the lot.
The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins was called on to adapt her book, ‘The Hunger Games‘ for film by Lions Gate Entertainment in 2009. She helped the film stay true to the novel in its essence but changed several aspects of the way the film is narrated.
For instance, the internal monologue that Katniss has regarding the Hunger Games in the book was expanded in the character of Seneca Crane, the Head Gamemaker. Suzanne Collins also helped pick the actors for the movie.
After a comprehensive set of auditions with around 30 actresses (that included Emma Roberts, Saoirse Ronan, Hailee Steinfeld, and the like), Jennifer Lawrence was selected to play the role of Katniss Everdeen. Collins believed that the character of Katniss called for a “certain maturity and power” which could only be brought forth to the audience by an older actress. She has also mentioned that Jennifer Lawrence was “the only one who truly captured the character I wrote in the book” and that she embodied “every essential quality necessary to play Katniss.”
The film was released in North America on March 12, 2012, and the movie immediately set a midnight-gross record for a movie that was not a sequel with a whopping $19.7 million. It also set opening-day and single-day records for a non-sequel movie, garnering $67.3 million on opening day.
‘The Hunger Games’ film went on to break several other records as well and became the first film since ‘Avatar’ to remain in first place at the box office for four consecutive weekends in North America. It was released over the next couple of months across the world, where it became a hit sensation as well.
‘The Hunger Games’ film was well received by critics, with most critics comparing the movie to the ‘Harry Potter‘ and ‘Twilight’ series, stating that ‘The Hunger Games’ is both “darker” and more “sophisticated.”
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins was tapped once again to help adapt the second installment of ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Catching Fire’. New members of the cast were introduced, including Jena Malone (who played the role of Johanna Mason), Amanda Plummer (who portrayed Wiress), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (who played Plutarch Heavensbee).
Production for the film officially began on 10th September 2012, and the film was released in November 2013. ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ broke several records set by its predecessor, ‘The Hunger Games’. It became the highest-grossing film of the entire series, the highest-grossing film distributed by Lionsgate, as well as the fifth-highest-grossing film in 2013 in North America.
The sequel received critical acclaim, with several critics praising the performance of Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Katniss Everdeen, the direction of the movie by Francis Lawrence, as well as the complexities captured by the plot of the movie. Entertainment Weekly has stated that most critics are of the consensus that ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is “a more-confident, more-polished movie that delves deeper into Panem’s political conflict.”
Mockingjay Part 1
Suzanne Collins helped adapt her third novel in ‘The Hunger Games’ series, ‘Mockingjay‘ for the screen. It was decided by the director and producers to split the novel into two parts – to allow for better pacing of the story. However, this decision was criticized by some people, mainly because the pacing of the movie fell flat, especially after its action-packed prequel, ‘Catching Fire’. Thus, ‘Mockingjay Part 1’ is the lowest-rated film of the ‘Hunger Games’ series.
Despite this, ‘Mockingjay Part 1’ was a commercial success. The film featured the same ensemble cast as the previous films, along with several additions. It was released on November 21, 2014, in the United States and over the next couple of months across the globe as well. ‘Mockingjay Part 1’ became the biggest opening of 2014 and made the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise the only one to have three films earning more than $100 million in one weekend.
The film was described as “tensely gripping” in terms of politics, and critics felt that it dealt with the “ethical ambiguities of war” well. They also claimed that the movie was “gutsy” and “intense, stylish, topical and well-acted.”
Mockingjay Part 2
‘Mockingjay Part 2’ was the final installment of ‘The Hunger Games’ series and the second of two movies based on the 2010 Suzanne Collins novel, ‘Mockingjay.’ Suzanne Collins helped adapt the novel for the screen. The movie was directed by Francis Lawrence and distributed by Lionsgate Entertainment.
The story continues from Mockingjay Part 1, with the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen preparing for a showdown against the President of the Capitol, Coriolanus Snow. The film premiered in November 2015 and grossed more than $100 million in its opening weekend. However, it fell below expectations and became the lowest-grossing film in the entire franchise.
Mockingjay Part 2 was well-received by critics, although the decision to split the last book into two parts was criticized once again. The film was lauded for its acting, action sequences, musical score, and costumes and was called “scorchingly intense” and the ending “genuinely powerful.” Tom Huddleston from Time Out commented:
…this might be the most downbeat blockbuster in memory, a film that starts out pitiless and goes downhill from there, save for a fleeting glimmer of hope in the final moments. It’s a bold statement about the unforgiving nature of war, unashamedly political in its motives and quietly devastating in its emotional effect.
What did Suzanne Collins study?
Suzanne Collins majored in Theatre Arts at the Alabama School of Fine arts in Birmingham, which she graduated from in 1980. She was 18 years old at the time. She then completed her Bachelor’s in Theatre and Telecommunications from Indiana University in 1985. Finally, Collins received an M.F.A in 1989 in Dramatic Writing from New York University.
What are three facts about Suzanne Collins?
Suzanne Collins has led a fascinating life. Thanks to the sensation caused by ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy, she became the best-selling Kindle author of all time in March 2012. She has worked as a writer for popular children’s shows on Nickelodeon. She was highly influenced by her father’s experiences in the Air Force, and consequently, the theme of war recurs in most of her works.
Is Suzanne Collins a billionaire?
No, Suzanne Collins is not a billionaire. However, her bestselling books, ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy, ‘The Underland Chronicles’ as well as her work on ‘The Hunger Games’ films have careened her net worth to around $80 million. Her books have sold more than 85 million copies across the world and have left a lasting impact on Young Adult literature.
What kind of person is Suzanne Collins?
Suzanne Collins is a talented screenwriter and author. After her extensive education in Telecommunications, Theatre, and Dramatic Writing, she began a successful career as a writer for children’s television shows. She then went on to write several children’s books and young adult novels as well. She believes that she must educate her readers about important matters such as war and survival, especially because she believes that most parents tend to avoid talking about such sensitive matters with their children.