Earlier this week, news came out about the official title for the second installment of The Hunger Games movie series.
Don’t we already know it? Last time we checked, the book sitting on our bookshelves next to The Hunger Games was called Catching Fire.
Earlier this week, news came out that the sequel to The Hunger Games movie will be called… The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
We get it. “The Hunger Games” is a recognizable brand now so it’s understandable to want to throw the words into everything. But it also screams, “We think everyone is stupid.” Harry Potter had a good thing going for it since “Harry Potter” was already in the titles of all the books. J.K. Rowling had already built the brand recognition into it. But Suzanne Collins went for short and sweet with her book titles.
We’re guessing THG:CF will be marketed similarly to its previous installment, with Jennifer Lawrence holding a bow dressed all Katniss-y, flaming mockingjay, etc. etc. Same cast (with a few additions), same look. But I guess that won’t be a big enough clue to audiences that it’s part of the same franchise as that movie they saw and loved only the year before. Now we need a mouthful of a title just so there couldn’t be any doubt.
And let’s be real. When you go up to the ticket booth come November 2013 to watch the movie, you’re probably not going to say the whole title. Casual fans might say “The Hunger Games movie” and diehard fans will most likely yell “CATCHING FIRE!” enthusiastically at the ticket booth attendant. So is this really just a way to give audiences options on what to call it? Or does Lionsgate think everyone can’t put 2 and 2 together?
This situation has created some great running jokes for other franchises, most noticeably for when Fox announced that Rise of the Apes would be called Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which will also be getting a sequel so who knows how many prepositional phrases will be in that title). It’s a bit of a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation. It’s hard to imagine, as huge Hunger Games and pop culture fans as we are, to think that people won’t ‘get it’, but at the same time, there just are those individuals who don’t follow movie news as closely (or even at all) as we do and really wouldn’t know. But then there’s the intelligence-insulting thing. So what’s a studio to do?
Whatever the title is, you know we’ll still call it Catching Fire.