Ever since the first Hunger Games film opened earlier this year to a huge box-office haul and no small amount of critical praise, fans have been eagerly awaiting news of when they can see the rest of the story play out on the big screen. Now, in the tradition of Twilight and Harry Potter, producers have announced that the number of movies in the series won't match the number of books.
Lionsgate made it official this week that its adaptation of Mockingjay, the third installment in author Suzanne Collins' bestselling young adult sci-fi series, will be split into two films released a year apart. Part 1 will hit theaters on Nov. 21, 2014, while Part 2 will arrive Nov. 20, 2015. The second film in the series, Catching Fire, is scheduled to premiere Nov. 22, 2013. The same week every year for three years. That makes scheduling easy for Hunger Games fanatics.
Though some might call this move a ploy for bigger box-office returns (the first film has already earned nearly $700 million worldwide), it's worth noting that like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Breaking Dawn, Mockingjay is the most expansive and ambitious book in its series. Readers of Collins' novels will remember that there's a lot of plot to get through in the final book, and now that not one but two franchises geared toward the same audience have done well with split conclusions, Lionsgate's stretching The Hunger Games into four flicks.
What do you think? Wise move or overreach?