While a spin-off is preparing, will the Hunger Games saga regain its letters of nobility at a time when adolescent dystopia is no longer attractive?
A totalitarian world, chaos and a heroine who will upset the established order, this is the recipe for the teenage dystopias that flourished on the big screen in the 2010s. At that time, the sagas at the Hunger Games were numerous and all had one thing in common: being adapted from bestsellers from the Youth departments. These new forms of storytelling, which were intended to mirror the passage to adulthood, all had the objective of making a lasting impression in the panorama of the 7th art and to compete with the benchmark in terms of entertainment for adolescents: Harry Potter. Almost ten years later, it is clear that the little bespectacled wizard has not fallen.
Emblematic figure of this movement, Hunger Games still proudly sits among the biggest box office successes. With over $ 865 million at the box office for the second installment, the saga paved the way for many other productions of the genre. But if the adventures of the character played by Jennifer Lawrence have found their audience, this observation does not apply to all feature films of the genre. We remember in particular Divergente, with Shailene Woodley and Theo James, who was cut off in its tracks and who had ultimately not been entitled to its conclusion on the big screen. With a timid success for its first two opus, which still boosted the sales of the novels of its author Veronica Roth, the saga had faced a wall for its third film. While revenue for Divergente 2 peaked at $ 297.3 million, Beyond the wall had made Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate just $ 179.9 million. If a TV movie was then considered, the production company had to give up after the refusal of its actors to play for the small screen. Left without conclusion, the saga is not the only one to have struggled to continue its rise at the box office. The Giver, adapted from the eponymous novel by Lois Lowry, with a budget of 25 million, had made only 67 million dollars at the box office. The sequel, adapted from the second novel in the trilogy, will never have seen the light of day.
A new Hunger, good or bad idea?
Hollywood, in its desire to find new lucrative sagas, plans to scrape the bottom of the drawer and offer the universe imagined by Suzanne Collins a new foray on the big screen. Adapted from author’s new novel, The Ballad of the Serpent and the Singing Bird, this feature film is set to take place 64 years before the events of the first film and will follow young Snow as he becomes a mentor during the Tenth Hunger Games. With the future of his house on the line, the character will have to do everything to help his candidate win the competition. At the helm, we will find the director of the last three opus: Francis Lawrence.
It remains to be seen when the project will see the light of day and if the saga Hunger Games will succeed in reviving with the character of President Snow as the headliner. The project, still at an embryonic stage, should materialize in the coming years. Lionsgate will not fail to reveal some details to us by then, such as the new actors who will have the heavy task of carrying this new saga. The fact remains that reviving a saga is not an easy task and the risk of tainting the previous opus is great. In the Harry Potter universe, the saga Fantastic Beasts has struggled to find its audience, despite a rather pleasing first opus. It is even rumored that Warner would have revised his plans for the sequel by sticking to a trilogy instead of the five previously announced opus. So even if the little wizard finds it difficult to make his hole in dark rooms, despite a community of fans among the most loyal, Hunger Games still has work to do. And then at a time when Hollywood constantly recycles the same universes, the viewer may well get bored.