Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

March 21, 2012

Can we still be friends?

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It is time.

Kim Hollis: Six months ago, how much did you know about The Hunger Games? How much do you know about it now? What are your expectations for what has become the most anticipated new movie property in several years?

Matthew Huntley: Six months ago, I knew absolutely nothing about The Hunger Games. Thanks to my co-workers, I now know it's one of the most popular young adult novels of the past decade, and thanks to Hollywood-oriented websites, I also know it's expected to have an opening as large as Twilight. This all seems very familiar to me, because back in the summer of 2008, I had no idea what Twilight was until I saw it featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. Clearly I need to read more!

I expect The Hunger Games to open somewhere in between the original Twilight and New Moon, so I'm going to say $100 million its first weekend, although I think that may be too bullish. Either way, it will be a success, if it isn't already given its pre-opening ticket sales.


Tom Houseman: I downloaded the audiobook of The Hunger Games in October because I figured it would be easy enough to follow while I was driving to and from work. Other than nearly killing me when I started crying near the end of the book while driving home, I have nothing but glowing things to say about it. The whole trilogy is really spectacular and easily lends itself to cinematic adaptation. I don't pretend to know as much about box-office as anybody else who writes for this site, so I will just say that on its opening weekend The Hunger Games will make eleventy kerjillion dollars if this is a just world and if eleventy kerjillion is a number (I'm pretty sure it is, though). I'm curious to see how well it holds up on its second weekend when the fanbase will have gotten its fix and it will be facing competition from Wrath of the Titans.

Bruce Hall: I read all three books in one week a couple of years ago. Bam, bam, bam. They're easy reads, definitely meant for young adults, but they're not works of art by any stretch of the imagination. And the conclusion is dull and anticlimactic in relation to the rest of the story. But they're hard to put down once you've started. The Hunger Games series is an effective study on liberty versus fascism juxtaposed over adolescence - written from the perspective of a child FOR children. Yet it's done so in a way that's undeniably appealing to adults, as well. It's colorful, it's exciting, it's surprisingly moving, and the characters are for the most part, well drawn out and accessible. But the most striking thing to me about The Hunger Games is that the prose was so artfully written. The story is very well structured, which is of course essential. But the words and imagery ended up being more effective than I'd expected going in. It's good stuff and I can say I liked it considerably more than Harry Potter's Rand-esque deluge of print, which could have been about 1500 pages shorter. It's like base elements of Star Trek meeting The Prisoner mixed with a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book from the 1980s. If the films are even half as clever and inventive as the books, this thing is going to be massive. Keep your eyes open and get ready; The Hunger Games is going to be a hell of a story.

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