On September 10, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire officially began production.
All things considered, the next Games film got up and running pretty quickly, especially with a change in directors, not to mention the first movie hit theaters on March 23, 2012, and just went live for home video on August 18, 2012.
And indeed, The Hunger Games has truly been a goldmine. It's made over $400 million domestic, $277 million foreign for a $685 million total, according to Box Office Mojo, and as The Hollywood Reporter told us this summer, the Hunger Games trilogy sold 23 million copies of the first book, fourteen million copies of Catching Fire, and thirteen million copies of Mockingjay.
The Hunger Games DVD / BluRay also sold 3.8 million copies the first week, not to mention, as DailyMail reports, thanks to The Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry Potter, sales in young adult novels have jumped a staggering 150% in the last six years.
Early this year there were eleventh hour negotiations to try and keep Gary Ross aboard, but he finally abandoned ship, citing the film's breakneck schedule, and now Francis Lawrence, who directed I Am Legend, is in charge, along with the usual suspects, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, and Josh Hutcherson. Also back are Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland, along with newcomers Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, and Amanda Plummer.
Interestingly, Lawrence told The Huffington Post she was originally going to pass on Games, but then realized it was going to be a huge movie, and "just saying yes to this one thing could completely change my life, and I don't know if it's going to be for the better…"
"The truth was, in the bottom of my heart, I wanted to do it," Lawrence added. "I wanted to play this character. I was scared of the aftermath, but you can't say not to things because you're scared. You just have to go for it."
The shoot has always planned to start in September, and it's obviously right on schedule, with production hoping to wrap in December around Christmas. The last installment of the series, Mockingjay, will also be a two-parter, so The Hunger Games are going to be with us for years to come.