The Hunger Games (film Series)
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The Hunger Games Film Series

The Hunger Games
The hunger games.svg
Series logo
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on
Music byJames Newton Howard
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
Running time
548 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$495 million
Box office$2.970 billion

The Hunger Games film series consists of four science fiction dystopian adventure films based on The Hunger Games trilogy of novels, by the American author Suzanne Collins. Distributed by Lionsgate and produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik, it stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, and Donald Sutherland as President Snow. Gary Ross directed the first film, while Francis Lawrence directed the next three films.

The first three films set records at the box office. The Hunger Games (2012) set records for the opening day and the biggest opening weekend for a non-sequel film. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) set the record for biggest opening weekend of November. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) had the largest opening day and weekend of 2014. The films, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015), received a positive reception from critics, with praise aimed at its themes and messages, as well as Jennifer Lawrence's performance.

The Hunger Games is the 20th highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over US$2.97 billion worldwide.


Following the release of Suzanne Collins' novel The Hunger Games, on September 14, 2008, Hollywood film studios began looking to adapt the book into film. In March 2009, Color Force, an independent studio founded by producer Nina Jacobson, bought the film rights to the book.[1]:12 She then sought out production company Lionsgate to help her produce the film.[2] Collins was also attached to adapt the novel; she began the first draft after completing the third novel in the series, Mockingjay (2010). The search for a director began in 2010 with three directors in the running; David Slade, Sam Mendes, and Gary Ross.[3] Ross was ultimately chosen to direct.[4] By the time Collins had finished the script, Ross decided to go through the script with Collins and screenwriter Billy Ray.

In October 2010, scripts were sent to the actors, and casting occurred between March and May 2011. The first role cast was of the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. As many as 30 actresses were in talks to play the part, with Jennifer Lawrence, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, and Chloë Grace Moretz being mentioned most.[5] The role was given to Lawrence.[6]

The roles of Peeta Mellark, Katniss' fellow tribute, and Gale Hawthorne, her best friend, began casting later that month. Top contenders for Peeta included Josh Hutcherson, Alexander Ludwig (later cast as Cato), Hunter Parrish, Evan Peters, and Lucas Till.[7] Contenders for Gale included Robbie Amell, Liam Hemsworth, David Henrie, and Drew Roy.[7] On April 4, it was reported that Hemsworth had been cast as Gale, and Hutcherson had been cast as Peeta.[8]


Filming for the franchise began on May 23, 2011 and finished on June 20, 2014.[1]:138

Suzanne Collins and Louise Rosner acted as executive producers on the first two films. Other executive producers of the first film include Robin Bissell and Shantal Feghali. Co-producers are Diana Alvarez, Martin Cohen, Louis Phillips, Bryan Unkeless, and Aldric La'auli Porter.[9] Color Force and Lionsgate collaborated on all four films. It was announced on November 1, 2012 that the studio had decided to split the final book, Mockingjay (2010), into two films: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015), much like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 (2010) and 2 (2011), and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011) and 2 (2012).[10]


Gary Ross directed the first film (The Hunger Games), and despite initially stating otherwise on April 10, 2012, Lionsgate announced that Ross would not return to direct the sequel.[11] On April 19, 2012, it was confirmed that Francis Lawrence would direct the sequel instead, and on November 1, 2012, it was confirmed that he would return and direct the final two films in the series, based on the novel Mockingjay.[12][13]


Suzanne Collins began adapting the first book to film after she finished writing Mockingjay. Collins had experience in writing screenplays after writing Clifford's Puppy Days and other children's television shows. When Gary Ross was announced as director for the film in 2010, he began to work with Collins and veteran writer Billy Ray to bring the novel to life. After Francis Lawrence took over as director, he brought in Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt to write the script for Catching Fire.[14] The final two films of the series were written by Danny Strong and Peter Craig.[15]


Once the three leads were cast, casting shifted to the other tributes. Jack Quaid was cast as Marvel, Leven Rambin as Glimmer, Amandla Stenberg as Rue, and Dayo Okeniyi as Thresh.[16]Alexander Ludwig (who auditioned for Peeta) was cast as Cato, Isabelle Fuhrman (who auditioned for Katniss) as Clove,[17] and Jacqueline Emerson as Foxface.[18] Following the casting of tributes, the adult cast began to come together. Elizabeth Banks was cast as Effie Trinket, the District 12 escort.[19]Woody Harrelson was cast as Haymitch Abernathy, District 12's mentor.[20]Lenny Kravitz was cast as Cinna, Katniss' stylist.[21]Wes Bentley was cast as game maker Seneca Crane.[22]Stanley Tucci was cast as Caesar Flickerman, Panem's celebrity host.[23]Donald Sutherland was cast as Coriolanus Snow, Panem's President.[24]Willow Shields was cast as Primrose Everdeen, Katniss' younger sister.[25]

In July 2012, the cast for the second film was announced. Jena Malone would play Johanna Mason.[26]Philip Seymour Hoffman would play Plutarch Heavensbee,[27]Sam Claflin would play Finnick Odair.[28] It was later announced that Jeffrey Wright was cast as Beetee, Alan Ritchson as Gloss, Lynn Cohen as Mags, and Amanda Plummer as Wiress.

In August and September 2013, it was revealed that Stef Dawson would play Annie Cresta,[29]Natalie Dormer would play Cressida,[30]Evan Ross would play Messalla, and Julianne Moore would play President Alma Coin[31] in the final two films.


Principal photography for The Hunger Games began on May 24, 2011 and concluded on September 15, 2011.

Principal photography for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire began on September 10, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia[32] and concluded in April 2013. In November 2012, production moved to Hawaii to film the arena scenes. Filming took a Christmas break before filming resumed for two weeks in mid-January. In March 2013, the film went back to Hawaii for re-shoots.[33] Atlanta was used for all the Capitol scenes, Hawaii for the arena scenes, and Oakland, New Jersey for District 12 scenes.

Principal photography for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay began on September 23, 2013[34] and concluded on June 20, 2014. The majority of filming for the Mockingjay films was filmed in soundstages in a studio in Atlanta, until April 18, 2014. Production then moved to Paris, France, with filming beginning there on May 5, 2014.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who portrays Plutarch Heavensbee, died on February 2, 2014. At the time of his death, he had completed filming his scenes for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and had a week left of shooting for Part 2. Lionsgate released a statement stating that, since the majority of Hoffman's scenes were completed, the release date for Part 2 would not be affected.[35][36]


The Hunger Games (2012)

Every year, in the ruins of what was once North America, the Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its 12 districts to send a teenage boy and girl, between the ages of 12 and 18, to compete in the Hunger Games: a nationally televised event in which 'tributes' fight each other within an arena, until one survivor remains. When Primrose Everdeen is 'reaped', her older sister Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her place to enter the games and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts when she's pitted against highly trained tributes.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Along with fellow District 12 victor Peeta Mellark, Katniss Everdeen returns home safely after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games. Winning means that they must leave their loved ones behind and embark on a Victory Tour throughout the districts. Along the way Katniss senses a rebellion simmering - one that she and Peeta may have sparked - but the Capitol is still in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Hunger Games - the Quarter Quell - that could change Panem forever.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)

Katniss Everdeen finds herself in District 13 after she destroys the games forever. Under the leadership of President Alma Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta, along with other victors and a nation moved by her courage.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015)

Realizing the stakes are no longer just for survival, Katniss Everdeen teams up with her closest friends and allies, including Peeta, Gale, and Finnick, for the ultimate mission. Together, they leave District 13 to liberate the citizens of war-torn Panem and assassinate President Snow.


On August 8, 2017, Variety reported that Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer has interest in having spinoffs made for The Hunger Games, and wants to create a writers room to explore the idea.[37] When asked about the idea of Hunger Games spinoffs, Jennifer Lawrence said "I think it's too soon. They've got to let the body get cold, in my opinion."[38]

On June 17, 2019, Joe Drake, Chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, announced in an interview that the company is communicating and working closely with Suzanne Collins with regards an adaptation of her upcoming prequel Hunger Games novel set to release on May 19, 2020, the premise based on the failed rebellion 74 years before The Hunger Games trilogy. He stated:

As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne's next book to be published. We've been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.[39]

On October 4, 2019, the title was revealed to be The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.[40]

Cast and characters


Role Films
The Hunger Games The Hunger Games:
Catching Fire
The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay - Part 1
The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay - Part 2
Director Gary Ross Francis Lawrence
Producer Nina Jacobson
Jon Kilik
Writer Suzanne Collins
Gary Ross
Billy Ray
Simon Beaufoy
Michael Arndt
Danny Strong
Peter Craig
Composer James Newton Howard
Cinematographer Tom Stern Jo Willems
Editor Stephen Mirrione
Juliette Welfling
Alan Edward Bell Alan Edward Bell
Mark Yoshikawa


Box office performance

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Production budget
North America Other territories Worldwide All time
North America
All time
The Hunger Games March 23, 2012 (2012-03-23) $408,010,692 $286,384,032 $694,394,724 25 105 $78 million [41]
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire November 22, 2013 (2013-11-22) $424,668,047 $440,343,699 $865,011,746 18 59 $130 million [42]
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 November 21, 2014 (2014-11-21) $337,135,885 $418,220,826 $755,356,711 48 86 $125 million [43]
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20) $281,723,902 $371,704,359 $653,428,261 88 117 $160 million [44]
Total $ $ $ $493 million [45]

All the Hunger Games films finished first at the North American box office during both their opening and second weekend.[46][47][48] In North America, The Hunger Games film series is the second highest-grossing film series based on young adult books, after the Harry Potter series, earning over $1.4 billion.[49] Worldwide, it is the third highest-grossing film series based on young-adult books after the film series of Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga, respectively, having grossed over $2.9 billion.[50] In North America, it is the eighth highest-grossing film franchise of all time.[51] Worldwide, it is currently the 20th highest-grossing film franchise of all time.[52][53]

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
The Hunger Games 84% (301 reviews)[54] 68 (49 reviews)[55] A[56]
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 89% (282 reviews)[57] 76 (49 reviews)[58] A[56]
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 69% (288 reviews)[59] 64 (46 reviews)[60] A-[56]
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 70% (280 reviews)[61] 65 (45 reviews)[62] A-[56]

Each installment of the Hunger Games series received generally positive reviews from critics. The first two installments (notably the second) were critically acclaimed, while the last two films were met with generally positive responses from critics. All The Hunger Games films received a "Fresh Rating" (>60%) on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, with the first two films receiving a "Certified Rating" rating (>70%).[63]


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Further reading

External links

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