Mockingjay Part 2 Premieres – It’s Business, Not Personal

Yesterday the long awaited Mockingjay Part 2 premiere locations were announced.  (Along with a couple stills -BLESS). image

Berlin as the host of the world premiere was a surprise, but a nice one and made sense to us since filming on the movie happened there, and it was where the film wrapped. This brings us to our main point – THE PREMIERE LOCATIONS MAKE SENSE. This clearly wasn’t a contest for which cities/countries have the “biggest” fans or who “deserves” a premiere. There are passionate fans everywhere on the planet because these books and movies are awesome and transcend borders. If you’re a part of the 99% of the population left out of the #MockingjayWorldTour, don’t take it personally! It’s just business, and it doesn’t mean premiere time won’t be fun for all of us.

Back to the “it’s just business” point, it’s really tough on the talent and the budget to go on a global publicity tour for weeks. They have to prioritize what makes sense in terms of money, time, and distance for these events.

Los Angeles and London are where Lionsgate’s main theatrical businesses operate. They are also entertainment hubs of the Hunger Games franchise’s biggest markets. These two are no-brainers. If they DIDN’T have premieres here it would be super weird.

Berlin and Paris were both shooting locations for Mockingjay Part 2, and it’s common for movies to host premieres where the film was shot (sorry Atlanta, LA trumped you again). France and Germany are also decently sized foreign markets for the films in the $30-40 million range each for Catching Fire. These locations are ALSO close to London, so it’s not as taxing on the talent in terms of travel.

They can’t go everywhere and meet every fan personally, but these premieres will inevitably have live streams and interviews galore, so it’s not like everything is closed off to fans that live far away. If a premiere isn’t in your city, it wasn’t because Francis Lawrence or Nina Jacobson wanted to snub you. They very likely had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. When fans tweet them excessively whining about their country not having a premiere, it just makes Twitter a more hostile place for them, and they’ll be less inclined to share things with us. STOP IT.

The disappointment is understandable. I would love to go to a premiere. There’s lots of energy, excited people, and OH, THE MOVIE TOO, but the distance makes it unrealistic for me. It’s not Lionsgate’s fault that I live 3000 miles from LA. I’m still going to enjoy it all via the Internet and then travel a reasonable distance to see the movie when it’s out.

Screaming hysterically in your fave’s face is really awkward anyway.


Important Characters Die This Time

In the Girl With the Pearl’s round up of “alternate” Mockingjay Part 2 titles, there’s one that stands out because it’s just so true and tragic.

The Hunger Games: Important Characters Die This Time

We say THIS time because even though Mockingjay Part 1 had the highest body count of any Hunger Games movie, the named characters got through alive. The reason for this is the 2 movie book split. We haven’t gotten to the “games” portion of Suzanne Collins’ story structure that takes such a toll on major characters. And being the true series FINALE, the character body count is overwhelming:

Messalla, Mitchell, Leeg 1, Leeg 2, Boggs, Homes, Jackson, Castor, Finnick, Prim, Coin, Snow

Like THG and CF, in MJ2, having a character poster DOES NOT make you safe.

Like THG and CF, in MJ2, having a character poster DOES NOT make you safe.

I probably left some out – there’s a lot of loss in the movie. It’s a war movie, and from the few articles that have released about the film so far, that has been made plain. This movie will show you the consequences of war. Realistically, audiences need to go into it expecting death, just as they did with the first Hunger Games movie. “There’s 24 of us Gale, and only one comes out,” Katniss says in the first Hunger Games theatrical trailer. While that wasn’t exactly true, it did set the stakes for the movies and prepare the audience for what they would see. People were expecting to see all those other tributes fall and Katniss come out of it. The question was just how it would all go down.

Book readers know what’s going to happen, and it’s HUGELY unlikely for the filmmakers to make any changes from the book in terms of who dies. Fans are also VERY vocal about how this all ends. I can’t imagine if you have a friend or family member that’s a fan of the books that you haven’t yet been “spoiled” already. So the question becomes, how much will be revealed beforehand in the movie’s marketing? And does it even matter, since so much of the audience probably knows the major points of what’s going to happen?

Due to the heart-wrenching huggy time between Katniss and Peeta in the teaser trailer, movie-only audiences know that hijacked Peeta is going to get better, so that mystery is off the table. Will the marketing hint at other major things like Finnick and Prim’s fates? In Mockingjay Part 1, Coin was fairly positively portrayed. Will there be hints of an evolution in her character, or will general audiences be in for a huge surprise in late November?

The question of how much to reveal in movie marketing is always tricky. Some people want a lot of teases. Some want to walk into the theater and be completely surprised. Terminator Genisys got a lot of criticism by revealing a MAJOR plot twist in one of their trailers. While that movie had plenty of problems beyond the mere spoiling of that twist, I’d say they definitely went too far by revealing that. But when a movie is based upon very popular books, are there any plot points that must remain concealed before release? How far is too far? We as book readers enjoy these movies plenty knowing what’s going to happen, but at the same time you want to let people that like to discover the story in the theater have that experience too. When a film is executed well, you can find ways to surprise everyone.  Knowing Peeta was going to attack Katniss at the end of MJ1 didn’t keep me from jumping in my seat when it happened, but I imagine it was CRAZY to those going into the film blind.

We may see fire and death from those parachutes in the trailer, but Panem’s children are just expecting good things.


The Part 2 Swerve Possibilities

Today, Lionsgate made what we can only describe as an “awkward turtle” move with its other ongoing franchise, the Divergent series.

They long ago made the decision to (unnecessarily) split the final book into two movies. They were the formulaic The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 1 and The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 2– UNTIL TODAY. Today, they became The Divergent Series: Allegiant and The Divergent Series: Ascendant. They also announced they’d be building up the world more, a statement so nerve-wracking after the creative license taken in Insurgent that even the author’s outwardly supportive response seems hesitant as hell.

AllegiantAscendantRealistically, this is probably because of “Part 1” title backlash. The critics were quick to hate on Mockingjay Part 1 simply because it was a Part 1. A couple of the major reviewers fixated on that fact, accusing the movie studio of exploiting the popularity of the franchise. And even though it did very well, it didn’t do as well as its predecessor– possibly because the not-so-die-hards are willing to wait rather than watch half of the final story.

And so the name change happens. For the record, we think it’s kinda ridiculous. You may hate the Part 1 / Part 2 thing, but we dodged a bullet! Can you imagine if Lionsgate had split up with last book and gave the 4th film a new of their own invention?

We imagine we’d get a glorious final film name along the lines of these:








We could go on, but we think you get the point. The two-part split may not be ideal– we personally doesn’t mind it for THG but hate it for some other series, but at least we’re calling a spade, a spade when it comes to what we’re getting. No one’s pretending that these are two distinctive stories within the overall arc, mainly because almost everyone knows it’s from the same book.

What Does “Ascendant” Mean In Relation To That Series Anyway?!
The Girl With The Pearl

*Suggestion courtesy of Crystal from

Spending All Year With the Mockingjay

Slowly the trickle of movie merch is coming upon us. Today we see a preview of the Mockingjay Part 2 2016 Calendar (available on Amazon US and UK).

MJ2 Calendar

The cover art is reminiscent of a lot of Mockingjay Part 1 merch – with the additions of Peeta (because we would riot if it didn’t) and Boggs (yay!). We’ve seen some fans sad about the absence of Finnick. We agree Finnick is more of a fan favorite character, so it’s an interesting choice. We wonder if her inclusion is 1) because they had her image anyway from last year’s merch so why not? 2) The hair and tatoos. Everyone loves the hair and tatoos.

We don’t mind Cressida’s inclusion because it balances out the genders a bit more as well. We know the movie has lots of women in all kinds of roles, and this gives a better impression than that tired 1 woman, lots of guys scenario that seems to be the norm in blockbuster movies.

Inside, there’s some new rebel propaganda art and those great character posts. (May looks like it’s all yours Finnick!)

mj2 calendar 2

mj2 calendar 3

We love those character posters, and pairing them with red/black propaganda makes this a more cohesive calendar than in year’s past when various stills were used. But damn, it we kind of wish there were some stills in here simply BECAUSE WE’D LIKE SOME MORE STILLS RELEASED. But hey, that should be happening soon. We hope.

We don’t think the calendar makers really thought about these things when assigning months to the different images, but placing Prim in December made us a little teary. Cause by most fan timelines of Mockingjay that we’ve seen. Prim dies in December. WHY ARE YOU SO CRUEL,CALENDAR?

Time for a tissue or two, and this is just a CALENDAR.


The Untitled Lawrence/Schumer Project

In case you missed it, Jennifer Lawrence and comedienne Amy Schumer are recent BFFLs. And we freaking love it!

Whether they’re vacationing on a lake or dancing on Billy Joel’s piano or writing a script together, these two seem to be two peas in a pod having the time of their lives. Yup, that’s right– WRITING A SCRIPT TOGETHER.

Jennifer Lawrence talked about it with The New York Times a couple weeks ago:

And they're both got red carpet posing down!

And they’re both got red carpet posing down!

“We play sisters,” Ms. Lawrence said. “We’re almost done writing. It just flowed out of us. We’ve got about 100 pages right now.”

She continued, “Amy and I were creatively made for each other. We have different flavors. It’s been the most fun experience of my life. We start the day off on the phone, laughing. And then we send each other pages. And we crack up. I’m flying out tomorrow to see her in Chicago. We’ll write a little bit with her sister, Kim, who worked with Amy when she was writing ‘Trainwreck.’”

We’re really excited about this!

First of all, Jennifer Lawrence is a funny person who has yet to really be funny on screen. She’s had some quirky, funny character moments, but they were in mostly serious movies. She’s never had the chance to do a full-on crazy, raunchy comedy. Judging by her interviews alone, can you imagine how great that would be?! It would be GLORIOUS!

We’re excited that Amy Schumer is involved too! We recognize she’s a controversial figure because she likes feminism and dislikes guns, triggering asshats to grumble “Murica!” and hate on her, but let’s stick with the comedy. The lady is funny! She’s plays a snarky, hilarious everywoman with ease. Seeing her play Jennifer Lawrence’s sister on-screen sounds like an absolute ball.

The final reason is purely speculative and perfect: Bette Midler heard about the project and wants to play their mom. WE NEED THIS. DESPERATELY.

Now that The Hunger Games is long done with filming (*sniffleweepsob*), we need to see the cast involved with awesome new projects. It’s what keeps up going!

Yes, Please!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Return of Samsung

On Saturday, we posted about how quiet things have been in terms of Mockingjay Part 2 sponsors, and we weren’t exactly complaining about it. But the next day, the silence was broken with this Samsung ad that aired twice during the MTV VMAs.

We agree with our friends at QQ. We’re not feeling it. We’re more or less thinking WTF?

We’re not surprised that Samsung is back as a sponsor this year. And we’re ok with it. We figure they deserve a shot to make up for the really awful way they bungled the Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer release with their “COME SEE THE TEASER FIRST ON OUR TABLETS AT BEST BUY” promotion. So sure, come back, and put together that’s something actually awesome for fans. We’re ready to hug and make up.

But we don’t think this ad is a very good start. We *think* that they’re being tongue in cheek with the voiceover talking about all the craziness of the VMAs and then inviting people to relax and watch the pretty explosions (hi-def!) of war on their snazzy tablet. To “enjoy your last moment of peace [watching Mockingjay Part 2 footage] before the VMAs insanity begins again.”

We have a sense of humor. And, as we said we *think* the intention here was to be tongue in cheek about things. But it doesn’t really work and rubs us the wrong way. Maybe it’s the tone of the voiceover guy’s voice. Maybe it was how they glorified the crazy awesomeness of the VMAs at the expense of our beloved final movie and its serious themes. Maybe we’re overly sensitive about things.

At least since the spot was VMA-specific, they won’t be repeating it again.

Try again, Samsung.


No Word From Our Sponsors

As we head into less than 90 days until Mockingjay Part 2’s release, there’s something a little bit different this year. Something’s missing. We’re not really upset that it’s missing, but it makes us wonder…

Where are all the sponsorships?

Cover Girl Star Wars

Thanks for distracting Cover Girl from THG this year, Star Wars!

THG franchise movie marketing have been loaded with brand cross-promotion. From the early days with China Glaze nail polish and Barbie, to the full on onslaught of Capitol Cover Girl, Subway, Samsung, Doritos, Mazda, Whole Foods, Hallmark, and more. Not that we haven’t gotten hints and rumors so far this year. Tim Palen posted some suspicious Barbie heads on his Instagram and then deleted it. (well “Ken” heads I suppose since they looks like the male characters). The Hallmark holiday ornament catalog has a Mockingjay Part 2 ornament. There may be some Funko action to come. Cover Girl is doing a makeup line with Star Wars so it looks like at least their brand of makeup won’t be tied to Katniss this year (and we are so relieved).

We are relieved on many levels. Because it’s really tough to find brands and cross-promotions that don’t clash with the themes of the series. We’re sure that there will be lots of tie-ins – that’s a crucial part of marketing (and profiting) off blockbuster movies. Hopefully some will excite us and make us happy. There will inevitably be some that are an awkward fit for the themes of the movies, but are done anyway because it makes financial sense for both parties. Even when it is awkward, it can be fun if you just don’t think about it too much. I will confess to liking the Doritos promotion last year, even though a Hunger Games tie-in to snack food is bizarre and uncomfortable. And people had fun those Catching Fire Subway standees we suppose.

As long as no company tries to “buy” the final trailer release we’ll probably be ok. We’ll still make fun of the awkward ones though. It’s what we do.

Watch – there will probably be a press release on the brand sponsors on Monday now.


Snapping The Mockingjay

Yes, we’ve already complained about how we’re already over the SnapChat element of the Mockingjay Part 2 campaign. And honestly, that still stands! We will take one website reveal of images over twenty 10-second snaps ANY DAY. But today was kind of an exception!

Over the course of the week, the MockingjayPt2 Snapchat has been running various contests to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Mockingjay novel. Today, fans were tasked with drawing their own version of the Mockingjay cover.

This contest proved something we already knew: The world has waaaayyyy too much time on its hands!

But also, somebody get these kiddos a real art-based program to mess around on, because some of them are pretty good!

CNbiJ3BWoAABAMR CNcS1QfWgAA_ssX unnamed (1)


We’re Snapchat amateurs, at best. We can barely manage to add short spurts of text to our snaps. Our drawn in hearts and smiley faces are lopsided like it’s nobody’s business. Yet these damn users created in tact shapes and shading!

Seriously, how long do you have to spend drawing with one finger to get that good at it?! Maybe they just have natural skillz that we don’t. Let’s hope it’s that and not the rabid dependency on the app!

My Mockingjay Would Look Like Tic-Tac-Toe Gone Wrong,
The Girl With The Pearl

Fallen Snow Steals the Show

Five years ago yesterday was the publication of Mockingjay, and to celebrate Lionsgate released a new Mockingjay Part 2 banner.

MJ2 banner

It instantly gave us deja vu of Catching Fire’s “Victors Revealed” banner. Fortunately this time, the whole banner was revealed at once and not a slow 2 week ordeal of one character per day like with Victors Revealed. And yes, each of the characters suffer from a little bit of awkward photoshop placement. But the more you look at it, the more you realize the distinction between this new banner and Victors Revealed. As the title suggests, Victors Revealed was all about the characters. The arena background looked cool, but it was not meant to be the main feature of the piece, the victors were.

However, this new banner, aptly titled “Fallen Snow” is more about the background. The massive, broken statue of Snow is what draws your eye. The image of a dictator’s statue being pulled down is very evocative in the real world, but the SIZE of the statue is what takes it a bit more to the realm of fantasy. The statue threw us off guard because the scale is so large compared to Squad 541. It actually looks a little like Ant Man promotion with Katniss so tiny (yet victorious) on Snow’s arm. While lots of fans eagerly zoomed in to their favorite characters, we don’t see this as a character piece. If it were a character piece we’d be a little disappointed that other members of 541 were left missing and their overall teeny tiny size on the banner.

We see this more as a continuation of the earlier movie posters of the decapitated statue and red Katniss chillin on Snow’s throne. But now it’s not clean. Now there’s fire and smoke and ruin. This collective of small, vulnerable warriors amidst all the destruction. These tiny figures have felled a powerful giant, but at great cost.

This type of snow removal is way worse than the frozen water kind.


About that Revolution…(pn)

With each new Hunger Games movie, there is (at least) one new website launched that has a cool, in-universe style. From (now offline but captured here), Capitol Couture,, to there’s been a whole lot of digital real estate tied to the movies not even counting the “real world” marketing sites of (RIP) and the current hub

With this track record, no one was surprised when launched a few months ago. As the official digital home for Panem’s revolution, THE REVOLUTION REALLY WANTS YOU TO JOIN THE FIGHT (by providing your email address or linking your Facebook account) and then sharing the various propaganda of the cause, like the Rhythm Nation-esque propo.


We wonder what the future plans for this site are, because they’re spending a lot of time trying to drive people to sign up. At least once a week, there’s a message released on socials about joining the cause. This message is from today.

We spy a new hashtag in that one too. This may be a tease of some new social campaign or a maybe a release of new posters. We hope it means something new content-release wise, because we get cranky when long, drawn out teases result in nada.

Long live the!

(Well, as long as it keeps pushing out new content)