Being separated from my iPhone is proving to be a specific kind of anxiety I’ve never experienced before in my life. Thus is the rule however: When you attend a studio sponsored premiere of a major motion picture that’s touted to be one of the biggest box office draws of the year, you’re required to check your phone at a security check point, or entrust it to the confines of the walls of a friends over priced hotel room. The JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles, California is enormous with over 20 stories of height to its name, it’s also painfully modern, with an ample use of glass and steel in its inner and outer design scheme, and its shiny cream-colored floors, and sumptuous carpets lining its corridors scream, “luxury! Luxury! Luxury!”, and just because my butter yellow iPhone 5c was being housed there for over three hours, luxurious amenities included or not are not making my anxiety any less great.
This is how I spend most of the evening, in a near constant state of anxiety, fear, and of course tempered excitement. Movie premieres are an everyday occurrence in Los Angeles, but I do not live in Los Angeles, and therefore movie premieres are not an everyday thing, or nuisance according to locals, to me. Yes, because god forbid they have to walk around the block to get to the Staples Center, and not cut across the plaza directly outside The Nokia Theater. Walking seemingly to the average Los Angeleno, at least from what I’ve gleaned, is about as pleasant as getting a bikini wax. And considering the amount of swimming pools in the metro area, a lot of bikini waxes are experienced on a daily basis in greater Los Angeles.
LA Live is buzzing, the plaza that so many wish was open for
cutting across to the sporting arena, is laden with red carpeting, cameras, screaming fans, famous, and also famous-ish people, and lots and lots of industry professionals that only deal with the behind the scenes. Almost the entire expanse of the plaza is blocked off by barricades, except to one side where sleek black town cars drop off a staggering stream of actors, actresses, and sometimes singers. The air is charged, and the never smiling guards all in black, holding their ever-present walkie-talkies, surround the area and act as an odd blanket to the atmosphere. I am allowed nowhere near the inside of this activity heavy place, I am not special enough, I am an out-of-towner who writes for a fan blog.
Eating and drinking is just something that’s not going to happen apparently, I came to this conclusion twice today: Once when the makeup artist I had paint my face earlier that day didn’t secure my stark red lipstick with the layering methodology I knew would ensure its not being mussed by anything short of a nuclear attack, and now. I’m sitting in Wolfgang Puck’s with nine other people, and I can’t seem to get the waiter’s attention to give me a much-needed straw so I can attempt to sip at the likely room temperature tap water he plunked down in front of each of us, once he realized that the lot of us were not ordering dinner, but finger food, or nothing at all– like me, because food smears unsecured lipstick. I totally get why he could care less about treating me like I exist, because I’m not obligated to tip him– straw or not. I want to get out of this restaurant, it’s loud, actually all the restaurants I’ve been to over the last three days have been loud, either the music is blasting right on the unfortunate edge of the need to shout almost everything you say to the person next to you, across from you, or standing behind you as they take your over priced order of humus and pita bread, or everyone has decided that that’s the night to have the loudest conversations they’ve ever had ever. Nope, it’s the music’s fault.
Walking in six-inch heels is not as easy as it sounds. Wait, it doesn’t sound easy, does it? ‘Cause if it does the world is likely ending, or worse. Rephrase, walking in six-inch heels with ankle straps that are too tight, and rubbing your skin raw— is difficult. The majority of the group I am with have walked the length and breadth of most of LA Live three times in the last two hours, and no, we have not been seated inside the theater yet, that’s next on the agenda. The night has taught me many things and most of them are things I never wanted to learn, like that stairs are evil when you’re traversing them in six-inch heels, because this is just something you never have to think about when you spend majority of your time in nothing that resembles six-inch heels. Stairs are even more evil when studio executives are probably walking behind you, and talent from the film are meandering in from the Red Carpet after grabbing a complimentary Dasani from one of the many concession stands inside the lobby of the theater. My anxiety only increases after I’ve found my seat in row H in the orchestra section though, especially when I see Alan Ritchson walking up the aisle, greeting people he knows with his impossibly white smile, and helping his heavily pregnant wife into a seat three rows or so behind mine. I try not to look around me like a Meerkat, because people watching at a Hollywood movie premiere is like shooting fish in a barrel, and my eyes keep wanting to fall on people like Matt Damon, who I heard is in the vicinity, and Donald Sutherland– who I know is. I refrain from craning my neck around, and restrict myself to only looking to my left, my right, and to the front of me. My friends have no qualms about looking around like hungry children standing in front of a sweet shop window though, and when one of them declares that Bruno Gunn is seating himself a few rows behind us, I break my promise to myself and glimpse him for a brief moment, I quickly turn back and force myself to focus on the Yahoo! Livestream showing on the massive screen 8 rows in front of me, because it feels like I’m spying. There is nothing normal about this entire experience, and odder still is that a year and a half before I was in the same building one level up, my eyes taking in the blur of colors that was the talent, the executives, and the family and friends of those involved or half involved with the film, below me. A year and a half before we were seated in the Screaming Section, this year we’re 20 feet from the actress cast as Annie Cresta, and the fictional president of Panem. When the head of Lionsgate finally takes the stage, I’m ready to burst.
That’s all for now folks! Hope you liked my experimental style with this one. I am actually a fiction writer at heart, and this is what’s lovingly referred to as– Creative Non-fiction.
Them There Eyes
We’ll be back soon, lovelies! In the meantime, check out Uli’s fabulous analysis of the Catching Fire marketing!
The triad of Josh, Jen and Liam blazing their way through red carpets all around the world can only mean one thing. The day we’ve all been eagerly waiting for is finally upon us. Who would have thought that a year ago, huh? 500+ days of a countdown sure don’t pass by all too quickly, but Lionsgate did their best to keep us all on our toes and excited throughout. And with the movie now being shown to not only media representatives but the general public as well, I thought it time to do a little recap of how well the marketing machinery of Lionsgate worked this time around.
After months and months of watching The Hunger Games multiple times to pass time, something was finally happening. #TheSpark was sent flying to ignite all those Tributes in hibernation and get them excited for the second installment of the franchise. And ignite it did.
First, stills from the movie were being revealed that, again, had to be unlocked by fans through tweeting a certain hashtag. It felt almost like we were back in the days of “The Hunger Games” marketing campaign when all was about tweeting, revealing and unlocking. But for “Catching Fire” it stopped suddenly and instead of being a part, becoming a part of #TheSpark, we were asked to stand aside and watch. And wait. Wait until Lionsgate decided it was time to reveal something new. The whole “Tick Tock” concept was all about tweeting and joining to win, not tweeting and joining to unlock. And that, in general, reflected what a grand part of the Catching Fire marketing campaign was about.
My recollection of the whole campaign might not be detailed, but I sure remember the overall feeling I’ve gotten from it was us, the fans, were being degraded to viewers as opposed to the players we all had been throughout The Hunger Games campaign leading up to the movie. We “played” to unlock TheCapitol.pn site, played to unlock our DIPs, played to puzzle together the first official movie poster. Everyone had a part in it. And this time around, especially with all give aways or competitions being restricted to only the US and Canada, most of those players were forced to sit down and watch as the game went on without them. And I, personally, found that saddening. It’s more exciting being a part than watching (except, of course, when we’re talking about the Hunger Games. The actual ones).
Now, I am not saying that Lionsgate didn’t do a good job. It was solid, just enough to keep the level of excitement boiling. But Catching Fire’s marketing campaign was just missing that little extra that would have taken #TheSpark from its initial, big-enough-to-make-smores campfire to a full-blown wildfire like the one Katniss is escaping from in the first book. Something engaging and captivating the fans, allowing them to become a part of Panem rather than just citizens of the Capitol. Net-a-Porter anyone?
Imagine this: Catching Fire, opening weekend. Glorious, isn’t it? Crowded, but still glorious. And with those type of crowds, you can expect another thing: THE BIG BUCKS!
The Hunger Games made $152.5 million during its opening weekend. Which is why it’s a bit strange to see Deadline (via DWTC) reporting that Lionsgate is only expecting Catching Fire to make $140 – $150 million opening weekend. Of course, there are some factors to consider:
1) The Hunger Games came out in March, a time of year during which there is absolutely ZERO competition in theaters. NADA! ZIP! ZILCH, WE SAY! We remember laughing at the suggestion that THG was competing against Wrath of the Titans. This time, there’s viable competition in the form of Hemsy’s older brother Chris in Thor: The Dark World. But…
2) Catching Fire has a massive fanbase that would come out to see the movie, perhaps multiple times, during opening weekend no matter when that opening weekend took place. Plus, Thor: The Dark World comes out two weeks prior, so one movie won’t truly interfere with the other’s box office numbers. And…
3) The only movie coming out in wide release the same weekend is The Delivery Man, a Vince Vaughn comedy that may be charming, but isn’t a must-see for anyone we know. Though…
4) The highest grossing November weekend box office of all time is The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which made $142.8 million. This means Lionsgate believes Catching Fire could pummel that record. Doing so would put it in at least the top 8 box office weekends of all time.
Maybe we’re cocky, but we don’t care. Lionsgate, you’re aiming low! What’s your deal, dude?! November is prime movie-going season and Catching Fire is in top shape! Give your film some more credit!
Let’s Catch You Up On The Fanaticism,
The Girl With The Pearl
Victor’s Village is offering one lucky fan the opportunity to win The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Soundtrack and a movie poster featuring YOUR name!
As we’ve mentioned before, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Soundtrack is looking pretty amazing and we can’t wait to get our hands on it! Now you can get the best of the best with this Soundtrack and Poster bundle.
Winner will receive:
- 1 CD
- 1 Double Picture disc – includes images of Katniss, Peeta, Johanna and Finnick
- 1 24”x36” movie poster
This bundle is the snazziest option out there, currently priced at $59.98!
To enter, comment on this post and tell us about your favorite artist on the soundtrack and why you love them by 9am PST on October 27th! All comments will be numbered and one lucky winner will be chosen via Random.org. The winner will be contacted via email.
Click here to pre-order the soundtrack in any of its available formats.
Best of Luck, Tributes!
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a #TickTock11 winner!
We had an amazing amount of participation of our Catching Fire Premiere Ticket giveaway, but there could only be one winner! We chose the winner at random (Good thing, too! There were too many great entries to choose just one!) and we’re thrilled to announce the winner!
CONGRATULATIONS, ANNIE B.!
Annie has won two tickets to the US Premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Los Angeles, courtesy of Lionsgate and Victor’s Village!
Though the pick was random, Annie’s entry was really inspiring. Take a look!
To me The Hunger Games means second chances, a new beginning and hope. Before I found the trilogy I was really struggling with life. Nothing made sense, I was so unhappy and angry and sad all of the time. Come to find out I had a rare form of depression. It only got worse after that, I felt like I was a freak and i became even more sad and angry to the point where life had little meaning to me. Finally while sitting in study hall almost 3 and a half years ago I picked up the first book and my life changed from there. Every aspect of my life has changed since reading those books. It gave me hope and strength and reason to keep living no matter how hard life gets. I will find myself in various situations and I will tell myself to be Katniss, be strong because you know, know small task is to much to handle. To see Katniss and Peeta and the rest of the victors come out of the experiences so scarred both emotionally and physically showed to me that hope is not lost. I will forever be so grateful to Suzanne Collins and the entire film organization for creating the world that save my life.
The clock has struck once again! And this time, it’s all about international love.
While we still don’t love that the World Premiere is in London, it seems Lionsgate is trying to make amends with the US and Canada by offering fans a chance to attend one of the FIVE European premieres happening before the Catching fire crew comes stateside.
“HOW?!” you ask! Simply tweet about the premiere using the hashtag #TickTock10 and the hashtag for the premiere location of your choice by midnight PST on October 11th:
Lionsgate tends to be a little Twitter-centric and not everyone is thrilled about it, but given how active fans are via that social network medium, we’re not entirely surprised. Also, it takes about two seconds to create an account and no one’s saying you have to tweet status updates everyday, so seriously… Tough cookies!
Don’t panic, international folks (yeah, we noticed some of you getting flustered all over Twitter)! There’s even more chances for YOU to win via the links on the bottom of this page!
In case you missed the premiere schedule, it goes as follows:
London, November 11th
Berlin, November 12th
Madrid, November 13th
Rome, November 14th
Paris, November 15th
Los Angeles, November 18th
Lionsgate did have some ‘splainin to do in Europe after numbers weren’t as grand as expected for the first film, so we are glad that they’re reaching out to those audiences though we wish it wasn’t in that order. Still, it’s nice to see The Hunger Games fandom love is now more available everywhere, not just to the folks who were harder to impress the first time around.
We Can Play Hard To Get, Too!
The Girl With The Pearl
THE #TICKTOCK11 CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!
And you thought it was just another Thursday!
Welcome to #TICKTOCK11!
First, let’s recap: #TickTock12 brought some very important news for fans who want to make it to those midnight premieres. The on-sale ticket date for the movie is October 1! You can sign up for a reminder email from Fandango by clicking here. We also got to hear Coldplay’s Atlas, the first song released off The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, accompanied by a chance to win the original lyrics sheet, and saw TONS of new character stills!
Now, with #TickTock11, we are very pleased to announce the date of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere in Los Angeles, CA will be…
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18!
Thanks to Lionsgate, we also have the extreme pleasure of offering you a chance to be part of it. Victor’s Village is thrilled to announce that we are one of 75 sites offering up a #TickTock11 contest in honor of the 75th Hunger Games. One lucky fan here at Victor’s Village will win A PAIR OF TICKETS FOR THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE PREMIERE!
To enter, just leave us a comment answering this question:
“What does The Hunger Games mean to you?”
Quick Version of the Rules:
- This contest is open to international fans, but…
- The winner will ONLY receive the tickets, which must be picked up at the event location. No other expenses, travel costs, or accommodation costs will be paid.
- One comment per person. Double entries will be disqualified. We’re keeping track.
- The winner will be announced on September 30.
Please click READ MORE and check out the full official rules below the cut.
As previously mentioned, you can enter for a chance to win premiere tickets 74 more times from other fansites and media outlets. Go here to see the full list of contests! You can also check it out on Facebook.
Best of luck, tributes!
Remember, you can find ALL the #TickTock moments on The Hunger Games Explorer.
We are unabashedly in love with The Hunger Games, so try to be positive about all the movie news that comes out. Sometimes we manage, sometimes we don’t.
But this. We can’t. WE CANNOT. WE HAVE LOST THE ABILITY TO “CAN”.
Lionsgate has teamed up with online luxury fashion website Net-A-Porter to sell the upcoming “Capitol Couture by Trish Summerville” fashion line. Yup, Capitol themed advertising has officially gone way too freaking far.
Let’s say this: Trish Summerville is a ridiculously talented Costume Designer. From what we’ve seen so far, she’s improved the overall look of the series by 1000% percent, added wonderfully nuanced meanings behind many outfits, and made the Capitol actually look like we imagined it in the books. We love what she’s done and we’re glad other people do too! We FANGIRL her. She deserves recognition. She deserves a freaking Academy Award!
But then… No matter what Buzzfeed says, this writer is of the opinion that Capitol Couture is not really getting the message of the movies (or even advertising the movies) to existing fans or potential newcomers. The advertising campaign seems to have gotten really caught up in the positive initial reactions to the first Capitol Couture issue and it’s forgotten an important message of the series: Reckless consumerism is the most basic form of evil.
At first, Capitol Couture was a fun addition to overall Hunger Games advertising. They feature the fashion designers that fashionistas love, get us involved in the alternate universe a bit, and are generally awesome to look at. Pretty things are pretty. Yet The Hunger Games isn’t about the Capitol. To us, Mockingjay Pin backpacks and District 12 Hot Topic t-shirts feel more acceptable than Capitol Couture makeup and designer brands, because at least Mockingjay Pins and District 12 have significant, positive influences in the series.
Nobody in the Capitol is concerned with The Hunger Games or the devastation in the districts because they are so caught up in the glamorized consumerism and entertainment that their lives consists of. Yes, WE KNOW… “But we ARE the Capitol! We’re the consumers! We love our outrageous entertainment!” To that, we argue that fans of the series are often seen making the effort to be more self-aware than we’re given credit for. Think of all the charities fans have committed to in the name of The Hunger Games, the stunning artwork, and all the intelligent discussion of book themes including war, gender stereotypes, politics, class disparity, and PTSD, etc. That’s just scratching the surface, really! Not to say we’ll never buy new shoes or go to a concert, but we’re not so caught up in ourselves as to act as if issues bigger than our own don’t matter.
By presenting us with what will probably be a luxury (aka “too expensive for your average gal”) fashion line, it feels like Lionsgate is saying that they really don’t care what they’re selling or what the message of the story really is, as long as we CONSUME. Because the more of us they convince that we are the Capitol– whom we remind you are the ignorant, counter-productive followers of a corrupt society– the more we buy into their bottom line.
They’re not selling the movie or its message to us. They’re just selling.
We’re curious to see what the fashion line will look like, for sure! How will it blend Capitol and everyday wear? The clothes will probably be beautiful. We may even want to buy some but… again, we can’t. Both because we’re poor and because it just feels wrong.
Thankfully, The Capitol Won’t Be In Style For Mockingjay,
The Girl With The Pearl
The Hunger Games actors are super special to the fandom, but here at Victor’s Village, we’ve also got a special place in our hearts from the behind-the-scenes masterminds.
We love Francis Lawrence, Philip Messina and Jo Willems, for example. Anyone who writes probably wants to be Michael Arndt. And Trish Summerville? FORGETABOUTIT! We’d just straight up marry her, because she is made of pure costume-designing spectacularity.
So when we saw this new interview with Tim Palen, Lionsgate’s Chief Marketing Officer, which largely focused on The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, we were pretty damn psyched.
First off, NEW PICTURE OF PEETA IN HIS INTERVIEW OUTFIT:
Still not a huge fan of the cowl neck, but DAYUM, does Josh Hutcherson look like a pimp in this photo or does Josh Hutcherson look like a pimp in this photo?! That new Robin Thicke song just started playing in my head!
MOVING ON… Tim Palen is the guy who manages the vision for all the advertising we see, from the trailers to those fanciful character posters splayed all over the Internet. He and his team have really pulled out the stops for Catching Fire, but apparently there’s a reason for that:
So I really needed this first glimpse of the second film to work hard to reassure the fan base that the characters they know and love are back and that the integrity we showed with the first movie is still intact. But almost equally important for me was to show that the stakes are higher, the drama will be greater and that CATCHING FIRE will be taking the story of our reluctant hero Katniss Everdeen to a whole other level. I’m grateful that Francis Lawrence has delivered a gigantic movie that has so many rich and amazing pieces for me to play with. He’s really made my job a fun and easy one.
It still astounds us every time we see something like this, but in the best way possible. The Hunger Games fanbase is big and ferocious! If the entirety of the Catching Fire film campaign consisted of animated stick figures, we would still go see the movies. We would bitch like hell and annoy the whole Internet to death about the advertising, but we would still go see the movie. Despite that, the studio is still trying to prove something to us: They’re not coasting on the franchise’s success. The marketing department, at the very least, is hunting down fan approval like a lioness going after a gazelle!
While the campaign for The Hunger Games was solid, the fandom reaction to the advertising for Catching Fire has been way more positive overall. There’s more to discuss, more to question, and way more originality. So it looks like someone’s doing something right!
Yup, We’re Drinking This Kool-Aid,
The Girl With The Pearl
Yes, this is Part 2. Remember back in February when I
bragged wrote about getting my badge for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con? Well, Comic-Con is upon us this week and guess what! I was right. Yes, I not only predicted a panel for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but I even said we were going to get a trailer debut. Hot diggity, I was on fire!
So what do we know about Comic-Con this year so far concerning The Hunger Games? We’ve got a panel on Saturday with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Willow Shields, Jena Malone and Francis Lawrence expected to attend. Now, there are a couple of names here that we kind of feel like we’re missing, I’m sure due to availability. But am I a little bummed that Sam Claflin isn’t on the docket? You betcha. Considering Finnick is the fan favorite and his casting was such a contentious matter, it seemed a highly likely and would’ve resulted in some great quotes from the ever gracious Sam Claflin. Then again, I was secretly just wishing to see the Josh Hutcherson/Sam Claflin bromance in person. This is all we ask for!
And then there’s the issue of a trailer debut. As soon as it airs in Hall H, Yahoo! Movies is going to have it up online for everyone to play over and over again. Ever since the debut of the rather lengthy teaser trailer, we’ve all been wondering, “Well, if that’s the teaser, what the heck are they going to put in the actual theatrical trailer?” Soon this question will be answered. I expect to come home to gifs upon gifs of the new trailer, don’t let me down!
Not to mention that there is bound to be autograph opportunities from some members of the cast. No official word yet, but that’s about how it goes. Oh and let’s not forget about the pins! We’ve got a brand new Catching Fire mockingjay pin that Lionsgate is giving out at their booth, and we hope to be lucky enough to snag one. We’re just hoping not too many jerks grab them to stick on eBay for some exorbitant amount of money.
And to round it out, check out a great Hunger Games Fan Guide put together by Welcome to District 12, featuring newbie advice from yours truly.
You all are more than welcome to follow me on Twitter (@twiffidy) in case there are any updates from me, Hunger Games related or otherwise. I’m also planning to post about my experience when I get back so look out for that.
See you all on the other side