By Hannah Weverka
Staff Writer, The Piedmont Highlander
“I love The Hunger Games,” said pun-loving Piedmont High School sophomore Kate Bott, “but whenever I’m reading about Peeta, I get this craving for hummus.”
Hummus isn’t the only thing on teenagers’ minds this week, however. The upcoming Hunger Games movie, which premieres on Friday, March 23, is causing students around Piedmont to react with excitement and anticipation.
“Me and my friend, it’s the only thing we talk about,” said sophomore Emily Chin said, who will be attending the movie premiere at midnight. “It has such a creative plot, set in a dystopian future.”
Others are interested in the movies for more specific reasons.
“I’ve seen commercials,” senior Tristan Blackmore said, “and I think the girl is hot.”
However, not all students react to the Hunger Games sensation with such enthusiasm.
“I don’t understand all the hype,” junior Kelsey Waggener said. “The books seemed kind of monotonous to me.”
Junior Jamey Hollis agrees.
“I really dislike The Hunger Games,” he said. “People take them as epitomes of dystopian future, when in reality they’re generic trashy post-apocalyptic things that aren’t as good as other books such as Dune or Lord of the Rings. They combine ‘save the world’ with ‘I have to get to prom and get the boy’.”
Fans of the books, nevertheless, do not seem to be thrown.
“Is it the best writing ever?” Bott said, who will also be going to the midnight premiere. “No. But it’s a good story that will translate well on screen.”
Junior Juliana Kong believes that the popularity of the movie will depend on the interest of the fans of the books.
“If you’ve read the books, it’ll be a big deal,” she said. “If not, it’ll be lame.”
Other fans acknowledge that The Hunger Games may be nothing more than a passing trend.
“Hunger Games is one of those fads like Twilight where it’s really popular until it’s not,” Chin said.
Even through these doubts, the movie’s popularity does not appear to be slowing down. It is anticipated to make $300 million in domestic ticket sales, according to CNN.com. In comparison, the latest Harry Potter movie brought in $381 million in the U.S. and $1.3 billion worldwide.
Another part of the Hunger Games franchise that's highly anticipated is the official companion album, The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond. Released in the United States on March 20, the album contains songs by well-known artists such as Taylor Swift, Arcade Fire, Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert and the Decemberists.
“The soundtrack is all tribal, chord-y, intense music,” Chin said. “It sounds really cool.”
Two singles from the album, “Safe & Sound” by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars and “One Engine” by the Decemberists, beat the rush. “Safe & Sound” was released in December of 2011 as a promotional single, and “One Engine” was made available for download in February.
Through hype and promotional products, students remain focused on one object: the movie itself.
“I’m just looking forward to it,” Chin said. “It’s Hunger Games, y’know?”
Are you going to the midnigth showing? Tell us what you think of The Hunger Games in the comments section below.
Too busy to check Piedmont Patch every day? Get the day's top local headlines, announcements and events delivered to your inbox, seven mornings a week. Sign up here.