Fandom

Hunger Games Expansion Woes!

Lionsgate has made it pretty clear that they want to ride The Hunger Games franchise into the sun. And we get it! They have the right to… buuuuut that doesn’t always necessarily mean they should.

Possible harbinger of post-2015 THG DOOM?

Possible harbinger of post-2015 THG DOOM?

The only majorly WTF moment outside the usual memorabilia and games you’d expect in a franchise has been the expensive, “luxury” Capitol Couture clothing line and an upcoming stage show. But there have been threats of other outrageous things like a theme park and more recently, additional movies added in to the franchise.

Here’s what Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer has to say:

The Hunger Games franchise wraps in November. What’s the future for Lionsgate in the YA space?

We’re always looking for ways to extend all of our intellectual property. We’ve seen that’s what happened with Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. So we’re always looking for worlds within the IP that we haven’t explored yet.

So you’re saying something else in the Hunger Games world isn’t out of the question?

Not saying specifically for The Hunger Games, but we have other franchises, too. If you look at Divergent, for example, after the third book, [author Veronica Roth] actually put out a novella called Four. There may be other material there. One never knows when we dig into the treasure troves of these brilliant writers what we might find.

Like the short, but with a bigger budget!

Like the short, but with a bigger budget!

We’ve said previously that we could probably deal with a Haymitch Quarter Quell movie if it was really, really well-made. But really, that’s it. And the idea of Lionsgate working beyond that is kind of horrifying.

So we have some questions for the studio as they consider all this:

1) What does Suzanne Collins have to say about all this?

THIS IS IMPORTANT. Consider Harry Potter, because Feltheimer brought it up. Yes, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is happening. But it’s being written and produced by JK Rowling, who clearly supports the project very much and will ensure it’s true to Harry’s world. Suzanne Collins gives interviews about one every forever or so, but we’re really interested on her thoughts about Lionsgate expanding upon the intellectual property she sold to them. Would she be involved? Would she openly support this? Suzanne certainly doesn’t seem the type who would smile and nod if she didn’t like the direction in which Lionsgate is taking the franchise.

2) Where’s your source material?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them started with a companion book JK Rowling wrote, followed by a script she’s writing. The Hobbit trilogy is loosely based off JRR Tolkien’s actual Lord of the Rings prequel– just expanded to the point where a lot of fans are kinda offended. We’ve started to use the term “hobbiting” to describe unnecessary additions to popular book or movie series that clearly exist for the sake of cashing in. We say that we could handle Haymitch’s quell because there’s an outline in the books. But very little else could really be considered part of the fandom’s source material like the other two franchises.

3) Can you handle fan reaction?

If you expand a franchise and it’s not up to fan expectations, you’re in for a world of backlash. We’re not stupid and we have A LOT to say. Many people already calling out the cash ploy that is splitting both Mockingjay and Allegiant (Mockingjay, we can handle. Allegiant was going to be bad as ONE movie. Why draw out that torture?!) We hate to tell you, but if any spinoffs aren’t damn near perfect, you will face fan criticism until the end of time. The media won’t be nice to you, either. Hell, they aren’t even nice when you follow the source material!

4) Is there no other YA worth adapting in your eyes?

Okay, so massive popular YA franchises are few and far between, but let’s give up on the cash cow model for a moment. Other studios have been pretty successful in creating decent adaptations of modern YA that connects well with audiences. And there are amazing stories to be told in the modern day. Or what about some of the amazing fantasy coming out in YA? But instead you just cast Emma Roberts and Dave Franco in Nerve, which is based off a little known book, seems to be The Hunger Games + Internet, and is marketed specifically to THG fans (which we hate, btw). If you think you’re going to get the same reaction every time if you just keep playing that YA dystopian hand, YOU’RE WRONG. Switch up your game plan before you really get hurt. We say that with love!

We know your audience because we are your audience.

Trust us!
The Girl With The Pearl

Number One, Times Two

It’s the Mockingjay edging out Guardians of the Galaxy by just the tip of her beaky beak beak for top 2014 domestic box office. Before Mockingjay Part 1’s release, we were expecting the movie to be #1 in 2014. But then the opening weekend was 30 million + less than Catching Fire’s, and the race to the top got a bit more dramatic. Fortunately (for this particular “race” to the top), the domestic box office overall had lower numbers than last year, so Mockingjay just had to crack over $333 million instead of 2013’s number 2 contender Iron Man 3 at $409 million. A smaller hurdle to get to the top spot, but still quite a challenge.

Fortunately for THG fans, the holiday season was good to the Mockingjay box office, and the numbers got there just in time, as the movie is almost out of most theaters (it is 2 months after release, after all). Some speculate that American Sniper, with its huge wide-release last weekend could be a challenge for the top spot (it opened in limited release in late December, so it counts as a 2014 film). Even with the Oscar buzz and the ability to attract viewers who don’t often go to the movies, it’s doubtful this R-rated movie will have the legs to get it to the top during the snowy dregs of winter, so I think you can relax. Katniss for the win, 2 years in a row, as Lionsgate reminded us.

2 years

So, other than fan bragging rights, why is this interesting or important or anything other than more money in Lionsgate’s coffers? I think these two tweets say it well.

The #1 celebratory news from Lionsgate was paired with info on the digital/Blu-Ray/DVD release, which was nice to get, cause we really do want to see the movie again, and the bonus features. But we’re also really itching to see Mockingjay Part 2’s logo poster. That would put us in even more of a celebratory mood. *HINT HINT*

Break free, Mockingjay!

JJ

Another Bout of Peeta Paranoia

When stuck in these dark times of no news, we sometimes get a little crazy. Look back on interviews, over-analyze, and let our minds dwell on our most anxious thoughts. That’s my explanation for a resurgence of Peeta Paranoia that I’ve been noticing over the past few days.

We’ve gotten pretty good confirmation from interviews and subtle hints that the Epilogue will be a part of Mockingjay Part 2 in some way.  We’ve heard that Jennifer has one remaining scene to film that they need to do when there are leaves on the trees and the scene may be with her nephew(s).

Here’s where the Peeta Paranoia sets in and goes something like this:

In interviews, Josh hasn’t said he will be filming any more scenes. Neither has Francis or Jennifer mentioned filming with Josh. Josh has his brown hair again and it can be difficult for him to get that perfect Peeta blond hair back.

So, the “obvious conclusion” is  PEETA WILL NOT BE IN THE EPILOGUE!!!1!!!1  I HATE LIIIIIIIFFFFE.

mockingjay-part-1-peeta-beatenI consider myself a champion worrier. I can take most situations and look at all the possible negative “what ifs” and make myself miserable. And, like most super-fans, I desperately want the ending of MJ Part 2 to be perfectly in spirit with the end of the book. And that means recognition of Katniss and Peeta healing and forging a life together.

I AM NOT WORRIED THAT PEETA WILL BE LEFT OUT OF THE ENDING.

YOU WILL NOT LEAVE PEETA OUT OF THE ENDING!

YOU WILL NOT LEAVE PEETA OUT OF THE ENDING!

Yes, the first movie screwed Peeta’s character over in terms of development, and that gives us trust issues. But think about the progression since then in Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1. Pretty good, right? And the filmmakers and Lionsgate know how we feel about Peeta. Message received – THEY KNOW. I don’t think we need to be concerned that there will be any reversion back to Hunger Games-era Peeta neglect in the final film. If anything, his story is going to get more attention as he recovers from the hijacking and rebuilds a relationship with Katniss.

Maybe they’ve already shot his Epilogue-ish scenes. Or maybe they’re just not mentioning that he’s a part of that final shoot in spring because they like to keep some secrecy. Maybe he’ll wear a wig. There are so many explanations and so little reason to worry about THIS.

If you want a different worry, it’s waaay more likely that all the other characters will get no closure in the end.

JJ

Brawlin’ With The Mockingjay

This will be the first and last time I talk about the MTV Movie Brawl. Except for social media, possibly. We swear!

No, it hasn’t started yet. It’s still in the nomination phase. Yet… the heat is already on for the MTV Movie Brawl and Mockingjay Part 2. For some reason, this sucker always seems to be the one to get fans all sorts of riled up.

mgid-uma-image-mtv

And honestly, y’all? We don’t know if we’re with it this year.

How I Met Your Mother had a funny little gag called The Murtaugh List, aka a mental catalog of things that make you say the infamous line from Lethal Weapon’s Roger Murtaugh: “I’m getting too old for this shit.”

The MTV Movie Brawl is on our Murtaugh list. And it’s pretty easy to see why, as evidenced by a fellow VV writer and a friend of the site:

As we’ve pointed out before, these awards have more to do with which fans are most likely to vote repeatedly than which fandom is actually the most beloved. Sure, Catching Fire won in 2013. But in 2012 and 2014, the franchise lost to films that we very mildly popular by comparison.

See, we don’t mind losing in these races. It’s gonna happen, especially since we’re not all screaming from the rafters about voting like other fandoms will. And that’s okay! But it would feel a little more realistic if the results reflected the actual box office opening weekends a little more closely. For instance, losing to Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, or even Divergent last year would have made some sense, as clearly large numbers of people were actually anticipating these films. We know this because they had solid opening weekends and a big box office pull. Veronica Mars was an indie and had a limited release including VOD so obviously the numbers weren’t going to as big, but the film didn’t even make back its $6 million budget. And while we definitely appreciate the Marshmallows enthusiasm, it didn’t leave much space for accuracy.

Surely, there’s quite the possibility that we’ll lose again because another crowd because there’s so many hardcore fangirls out there, people. Though it makes us slightly cringe-y, we’re betting on the Fifty Shades of Grey crowd to be the over-enthusiastic one this year.

So Yeah… We’re Murtaugh Listing It,
The Girl With The Pearl

Awards Season and the Hunger Games Fandom

The new year brings new opportunities for the entertainment industry to get together and receive AWARDS. So many types of awards. There are the most prestigious awards: The Oscars, SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globes, Writers’ Guild, Producers’ Guild, etc.

There are a lot of highly lauded actors in the Hunger Games franchise, but their fancy awards are all for non-Hunger Games movies, sadly, because big blockbuster movie performances are rarely considered by these groups to be worthy of recognition. (One caveat – The Critics Choice Awards which has an “Action Movie” category, but those awards are somewhere down the line in terms of prestige). Some of our favorite actors will no doubt be in attendance for these prestigious awards. Julianne Moore is in awards contention for her role in Still Alice. Jennifer is a past winner of pretty much every award so she may present at some of these awards (definitely at the Golden Globes, where she won last year). Lorde will no doubt be at the Golden Globes since Yellow Flicker Beat has the sole Mockingjay-related nomination there. The Hunger Games movies only seem to get love in the original song category, so it seems that will continue again this year. We’re used to it. We know how it goes. We’ll be watching them in all their Capitol-esque glory where everyone comments on the dresses, the hair, shoes, jewels, and the inane interviews that go along with it. But some are a good time, especially the Golden Globes, because Tina Fey and Amy Poehler make it soooo fun.

good times at the pcas

The Good ‘Ol Days, when Lionsgate forced these guys to do these type of appearances.

There are also highly corporately sponsored entertainment events masquerading as “awards” like the People’s Choice Awards brought to you by seemingly every single brand P&G owns (It’s a lot). The fandom seems to get really excited about the People’s Choice Awards, but I think it’s only because in 2013, the big three attended and were cute buddies together. Ever since the franchise moved to debut movies in November however, the movies have been too off-schedule to be “nominated” (the “nominations” began before Catching Fire or Mockingjay came out in theaters).  Jennifer Lawrence has nominations this year, and there are rumors that she could attend, but my money is on a tapped “thank you appearance” at best. She doesn’t need these type of appearances anymore, the events need her to get ratings. So we’ll see how that ends up.

Outside of the glamour of these award shows, the popularity of our Hunger Games movies means that so many websites want to draw us in with their own magical internet pony voting awards where usually you can vote as many times as you want to encourage hits on the site.  (Yes, the People’s Choice is like that too, though most other magical internet ponies don’t get televised on CBS).There were a few of these in December, and there will no doubt be more soon to come, like MTV’s Movie Brawl, which I bet they’ll do again this year. And it’s so exhausting. But we get it. You want the thing that you love to be recognized in some way as “the best” so you get sucked in and vote and vote and vote. Just don’t let it take over your life and your social accounts too much.

At least it fills the dark time when there is no movie news.

JJ

Victor’s Village 2014 Year In Review!

We know that 2015 is officially upon us, but we’re gonna reminisce about 2015 one last time!

Every year, we like to stop and say thanks to you lovely readers! We’ve been doing our thing here since 2014 and we’re super lucky to have had years of fun, debates, laughs, revelations, and interactions with you all! You keep us on our toes at times, but we love it.

And think of it! JJ has already been here for almost one year! She’s been such an incredible addition to the Victor’s Village team and we couldn’t be more thankful!

Thanks to WordPress, we also have some official fun facts to share along with our own observations. We’ll start with a graphic that blows our minds every time:

world map vv

Whoa! Mind you, we know people end up on various websites for a lot of funky reasons. It’s still amazing to see that people from all over the world have visited.

Also, we’re not quite sure what we did differently to see a surge in German viewers this year, but… DANKE!

Our busiest day overall was November 23, the Saturday after Mockingjay Part 1’s anticipated release. Most fans seemed to find a chance to see it by then and there was plenty discussion here! Still keeping major spoilers out of publication that time, our post that day was “My One Mockingjay Part 1 Gripe” in which Them There Eyes discussed the disappearance of Gale’s family from book to film.

However, our most viewed post written in 2014 deliberated Catching Fire’s deleted scenes– and the scenes that were teased during marketing and NOT released even as deleted scenes (at least, not yet).

We also got lots of love from regular commenters, all of whom have added great discussion to our oftentimes random thoughts!

commenters vv

Thanks, y’all!

We got a critically debated but immensely satisfying movie in Mockingjay Part 1 this year, but it came with a few lows. There wasn’t much marketing until juuuuust before the film release and we really, really did not care for the soundtrack (and earned some unintentionally hilarious trolls for saying so.) More than that, the world lost an incredibly talented and inspiring actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who we were lucky enough to have on board as Plutarch Heavensbee.

But we’ve also adopted #frappuccino, geeked out over THG’s lady badasses with Elizabeth Banks, and learned that somewhere out there, a deleted scene featuring Finnick Odair in his underwear definitely exists! We’ll take all that awesome, for sure!

2015 is going to be a tough but spectacular year for The Hunger Games fandom as the movie franchise comes to a close. We can’t wait to share it with all of you! It’s going to be the most crazy fun we’ve had together yet!

The Girl With The Pearl

Mockingjay Meta Fiction Friction

Earlier this week, JJ made an excellent post about the best and worst moments in Mockingjay. It did a great job covering the bases, but I’ve still got a bit of a quibble that’s become pretty controversial among fans.

THE END OF THAT DAMN PROPO

The screening of the first propo was pretty brilliant, at first. We saw Katniss’ fierceness through the lenses of Castor and Pollux’s cameras, how District 13 cut and played upon her words for the ultimate effect. Then things got reallllllly familiar: A burning Mockingjay pin with outstretched wings, title treatment font, and Rue’s whistle, musically engineered to sound exactly like every Hunger Games movie promo in existence and the slew of popular ringtones.

THIS... Except with different words. Yep.

THIS… Except with different words. Yep.

Urghhhh.

We’ve talked to friends and fans alike about the decision and the results are pretty mixed. In fact, some people think it’s brilliant, that putting the movie advertising images in almost their exact form straight into the movie was a great nod to the audience and adverts alike. They consider it a tie-in of sorts. And truly, we’re glad they liked it.

Some others, including myself, found it to be so utterly displeasing. Besides taking you out of the scene by reminding you of the commercials, practically screaming “THIS IS A MOVIE! HOPE YOU WEREN’T TOO WRAPPED UP IN IT!” just after a powerful scene, it seems like an awkward pat on the back. Multiple people decided that their advertising style was so witty and perfect that they’d just add it into the movie itself, assuming District 13 would do the same thing a bunch of modern day PR folks did. We realize that big wigs we love, like Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson, were probably in on the decision too, so we’ll try not to judge so harshly. Perhaps it was supposed to be coming full circle, but instead some of us hit the fourth wall HARD and broke right through that sucker.

Mind you. we’re not saying that those elements aren’t good for a commercial or a propo. Both are meant to rile up a crowd, but for very different reasons. Could we have two equally smart but not quite so identical ways of riling up people on their couch considering a movie vs. people in a war torn dystopia considering revolution?

Did this ruin the movie for us? OF COURSE NOT! The movie was still incredible overall, but we all have our hangups and quibbles. it won’t haunt us forever, but my face will likely twitch in some fashion every time I watch that part. And then like two minutes later I’ll be fine because Effie is wittily insulting President Coin’s hair. So is the way of the world.

So what do you think? Was the moment a little TOO meta for you? Or was it just right?

We Approve Of Recycling… Just Not In Our Films,
The Girl With The Pearl

That Tone-Deaf Hanging Tree Remix

Remember when we saw the movie and LOVED The Hanging Tree sequence? How we bought the Mockingjay musical score and listened to James Newton Howard’s rendition over and over? How thrilled we were to see it rise to #2 on the iTunes charts (and #1 in many other countries)? How it debuted at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100?

hanging tree

Katniss singing the next Capitol club hit? We don’t think so.

Well someone decided to fuck it all up with an upbeat remix that kills the emotion and message of the song. If you’ve been online the past day, you’ve probably seen a link to it, or heard it.  If you haven’t heard it yet, you may just want to sit it out. Our friends at Jabberjays.net and Hunger Games DWTC have great editorials about why this remix is just so wrong, and we agree wholeheartedly that it needs to be pulled. The original version is what made the song a hit, it didn’t need its entire heart and soul ripped out to play on radio. It just needed enough people to like it and request it. If you want to shorten the arrangement, cool. But change the WHOLE MOOD OF THE SONG INTO SOME KIND OF CAPITOL PARODY? This move was clearly led and made by people who don’t care about the message of the song, and had no clue about why we love it.

But they did it. And it’s a major bummer that something we were so happy about was bastardized and could be played to the masses as if it were the real Hanging Tree track. We’ve noticed that the song has disappeared from the soundcloud and YouTube sources, so that gives us hope this remix might get buried. But in case it doesn’t, what can we do? Well, we can ask radio stations to play the original version instead. Tell Republic Records. Buy the original track from the movie. Watch the original version on YouTube.

No remixes needed, thanks.

If I hear that remix on the radio, I’m changing the station, and then tweeting them to play the original version.

JJ

Mockingjay Emoji Magic

Sometimes, it’s the little things that count.

See, there’s lots of big things to talk about in the wake of Mockingjay Part 1’s release: Themes and box offices and reactions and…

OMG FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED A MOCKINGJAY STICKER SET!

A small sampling thanks to HungerGamesDWTC.Net

A small sampling thanks to HungerGamesDWTC.Net

Yes, we’re that easily amused. No, we’re not even a little bit sorry.

For all the marketing campaigns and contests and fancy schmancy apps created to promote the film, we’ve had about ten thousand times more fun sneak attacking everyone we know with these silly little stickers on messages and comments. Because as much as fans want to analyze the series and its deep meaning, sometimes you just gotta have fun with it!

The sticker artist was clearly taking the caricature approach, but we totally dig it. From ridiculous faces and giant jaws, it isn’t actually about actor worship. Instead it’s about the characters. Who woulda thunk it?!

And there’s a Mockingjay based emoticon for everything, people!
Too much spiked eggnog? Boozy Haymitch!
Can’t answer a simple question due to too much spiked eggnog? Cross-eyed, shrugging Peeta!
Getting overconfident with someone attractive? Lovestruck Finnick!
Pissed about their rejection of your overconfident flirtations? Katniss about to shoot someone with an arrow!
And for just about anything else? Caesar throwing his head back and basking in glory!

BOOM! THAT JUST HAPPENED!

So let’s take a moment to celebrate the little moments in fandom that make us happy… then let’s harass our Facebook friends with them!

Just Call It Sticker Shock! GET IT?!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hanging Tree: Breaking All the Rules

Jennifer Lawrence may have been more apprehensive shooting the pivotal Hanging Tree scene in Mockingjay Part 1, than she was shooting most other scenes in the entire franchise, but I think her nerves benefited her performance rather than hindered it. Money talks in so many ways, if people don’t spend it items for sale are considered failures, if people buy them in droves they’re a success– The Hanging Tree by that definition is a success then, because it’s breaking sale records left and right. As of Saturday the 29th of November, The Hanging Tree is the second most purchased song on the US iTunes chart. In the UK it’s in the number seven position, and on the Continent in countries like the Netherlands it’s at number four, and Germany where it’s at number one. I’m not sure if the popularity of this song is due to the fact that it’s sung by Jennifer Lawrence, that it’s part of the Hunger Games mythology, or that it’s just a good song– so I’m going to chalk it up to all three factors.

Jennifer Lawrence has said it numerous times that she doesn’t think she’s a good singer. The proof is in the recording however, ’cause as much humming and hawing as she did pre-Mockingjay Part 1’s release, the audience and her co-workers and friends say otherwise. I’ll even admit that I believed the pre-movie hype that Jen’s singing chops were sub par, but I think all the objections she’s made may be the vocalizations of years of childhood insecurity rearing its ugly head. Jen, lemme put it into words that you will never read, ’cause this is a fan-written blog, and you’re clearly a smart young woman who stays away from the Internet 90% of the time– but, you’re a good singer, and you should be nicer to your self, and also stop listening to your dad– dad’s are notorious assholes to their daughters. Dad’s pour ice water on us to wake us up before school, they also tell us there are monsters in our closets, or that gummy worms are real worms, or that chocolate is dirt– or they make fun of our singing voices after talent shows–so, for the love of god, tell your memories of your dad making fun of you to the back the hell up, and look at the song buying charts, and feel a little proud.

Give Jen a hand, she sang in front of people and she didn’t die! She cried a little, but she did not die!

Them There Eyes

P.S Anyone hoping Hanging Tree gets nominated for an Oscar? If that even possible?