The Sequel to the Movie about the Games Involving Hunger

Everyone redo your fan posters! Except look how awesome this one is.

Earlier this week, news came out about the official title for the second installment of The Hunger Games movie series.

But wait!

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.


  1. I actually don’t have a problem with the title being The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, some of the best franchises of the past have had mouthful titles. Think of Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, etc. Many American franchises when marketed overseas are given long titles as well, like the James Bond films, even if in the US and the UK they were marketed as GoldenEye, or what not, in places like Germany it was titled James Bond 007 – GoldenEye. I personally like to think that them going with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as a throw-back, and them trying to be more like those films, and that is has nothing to do with thinking the public has a low intelligence quotient as a whole.

    1. See, those are different because they’re not based on anything and hence the names aren’t changed/extended from the original, that’s just what they’re called. And abroad is different because the cultures are different. What’s popular and recognizable in the US is different abroad, hence title changes.

      It doesn’t bother me a whole lot, but even talking to casual fans about the name change, it did bother some people because it makes it seem like they think people are stupid.

      1. Those franchises are based on things, James Bond was a series of novels before they were adapted into films in the 60s, and both Indiana Jones and Star Wars are throw-backs to old serials that had titles like Flash Gorden: Space Soldiers, etc.

  2. I agree that it’s not really necessary. Catching Fire is hugely recognizable brand in itself and it doesn’t need “The Hunger Games” in front to support. The images, trailers, clips, etc that would make it obvious to those who don’t immediately recognize it as a sequel (and those people aren’t the core audience anyway.)

  3. I was on my way out the door so I didn’t choose my words carefully. I know James Bond is based on books but I wasn’t talking about that since the US titles are just what they are, like Skyfall isn’t James Bond 007: Skyfall, at least in the US. And I meant Star Wars and Indiana Jones aren’t direct book adaptations like Catching Fire is. I mean Harry Potter is heavily influenced by Lord of the Rings but I wouldn’t say it was based on it lest I be attacked by fangirls.

    1. Doesn’t matter, people will call it whatever they want to call it. Old ladies will call it The Hanger Games, or Catching Fish, and everyone will just sit around wondering why they don’t pay attention, or read titles carefully.

  4. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter, they want the most profit and ‘The Hunger Games’ is the most profitable label. Casual fans still make up a portion of the box office and of that there are oblivious ones. They’re just saving their behinds by including it. It doesn’t bother me at all, the title could be ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ and I would stil get giddy for it!

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