How to make a film 101 – The Hunger Games

“The Hunger Games” opens Friday, tracking toward an opening weekend ticket take of perhaps more than $100 million. The movie, about a future dystopia that pits teens in televised fights to the death, cost around $80 million to make.

Lionsgate, home to the “Saw” horror franchise, has seen rough times lately. It weathered a takeover bid by Carl Icahn and its stock price dropped 45 percent in a four-year period, according to Bloomberg. But it recently gained muscle when it bought Summit, the studio mother of the “Twilight” movies. Those films, based, like “The Hunger Games, on a popular series of books, earned $2.3 billion, a figure “Games” hopes to match or even surpass.

So how do you start to make a film. First you buy a story, or the rights to a book the underlying rights. This usually happens before anyone really knows about it. In the case of The Hunger Games Lionsgate secured the rights to Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” in 2009 before it became a household name.

“The Hunger Games,” the first of a trilogy, had sold about 250,000 copies when Lionsgate acquired it. By the time the film went into production last May, the three novels had sold a combined 8 million. When production wrapped in September, the total had climbed to 12 million. The New York Times reported Sunday that there are now 24 million copies in print.

Shooting in North Carolina gave “The Hunger Games” a 25 percent rebate on salaries for resident cast and crew and what the film spent on taxable items in the state, according to the Charlotte Observer. The film was finished for under the widely reported $80 million; $12 million in subsidies helped get it there, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The crew also made use of a 2.4 million-square foot abandoned factory and part of a national forest.

The studio reportedly locked up lead actress Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone,” “X-Men: First Class”), who plays the heroine Katniss Everdeen, for $500,000 for the first film, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That’s in the neighborhood of what Kristen Stewart got for the first “Twilight.” Lawrence and her costars, Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) and Liam Hemsworth (Gale), signed on the dotted line for the film adaptations of all three books before production began on the first. Of course there are financial incentives based on each film’s success.

Director Gary Ross, who wrote the film with Billy Ray and Collins, took the studio’s streamlined mission to heart. Great storytelling is great story telling.

Even the marketing campaign — which cost a mere $45 million, The New York Times reported — cost less than half of what most high-profile blockbusters chew up. With an eye on the bottom line and expectations sky-high, “The Hunger Games” appears headed for franchise nirvana.

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Taylor Swift ‘Hunger Games’ that’s a one two combo!

Taylor Swift fans who can’t wait to see The Hunger Games—and we’re betting there are a lot of them—got a special treat over the weekend.

That’s because the country pop princess performed, for the first time ever, “Eyes Open,” the tune she contributed to the would-be blockbuster hitting theaters this weekend. These are the greatest fans I have come across. The young girls I ran into waiting to see The Hunger Games, had read the book several times and you can bet they know every word of the song.

“I’m really excited about it…but, I mean, you don’t think I’d get in trouble if I played it now? Probably not, right?” Swift teased the thousands of screaming concertgoers who packed Auckland, New Zealand’s Vector Arena last night.

She then launched into a solo acoustic rendition of “Eyes Open” that began with the refrain: “Everybody’s waiting/Everybody’s watching/Even when you’re sleeping/Keep your eye-eyes open.”

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The Hunger Games and it’s fans

The power of creativity was at play as it has sparked fans and young women. I talked to a few fans and knew instantly the impact of the magic word on paper.

Much of the film rides on Jennifer Lawrence’s performance, according to producer John Kilik.

“To have her be strong, and smart and independent — that’s what we had to get right. [Jennifer Lawrence] just brought all that with her amazing talent and incredible work ethic. She just brought the best and carried us all on her back,” he stated.

Here is what these young ladies had to say at the Toronto screening of The Hunter Games and Jennifer Lawrence.

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Tom Ford Plunging for Jenniffer Lawrence

Jenniffer Lawrence has gone fashion. Then again it’s a Tom Ford.

With million and million of premieres, OK, OK, not a million maybe just few thousand ‘The Hunger Games’ star seems to be everywhere. She had the fashion world talking when she donned gleaming gold Prabal on the Los Angeles red carpet and she chose gold again, by Ralph Lauren, for the London premiere.

My favorite was Thursday’s pick, for the movie’s Paris photocall. Lawrence walked the black carpet in a sophisticated black sheath with a deceptively simple front and a plunging, unzipped back. Tom Ford on Jenniffer Lawrence was magic is real and dreams come true. I would really like to see Jennifer Lawrence in Magpie fashion for Toronto. I know they can rock her on the red carpet.

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The Very Sexy Jennifer Lawrence – ‘Hunger Games’

Jennifer Lawrence landed on the A-list earlier than most. Oscar-nominated for “Winter’s Bone” at just 20 years old, the Kentucky-born actress won the role of Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games,” meaning her meteoric rise should only increase, provided the film cashes in as expected the box office. It’s certainly an exciting time for J.Law, though — at the moment — she’s a little concerned with her awkward “karate hands,” which only come out when she runs. “I’m a weird runner,” Lawrence told Moviefone when asked about her training for the future blockbuster. “So, that was unfortunate.”

In “The Hunger Games,” Lawrence is forced to do a lot of running: she plays Katniss Everdeen, the District 12 tribute sent to compete in the annual Hunger Games, a barbaric event where the citizens of Panem, the post-apocalyptic name given to what’s left of North America, watch their children kill one another for sport. For fanatics of Suzanne Collins’s best-selling book series, the actress is Katniss incarnate (this despite her naturally blonde hair, which was dyed for the film). Lawrence, however, wasn’t so sure — she almost turned down the role of her lifetime, before her mother convinced her otherwise.

She loved the fact that the film was being made by those who are fans of the book. Liked what they said and knew she wanted to make this film. What I really like about Jennifer is that she has made independent films. She was asked about this once and why she had not done big studio films. This is what she had to say,”Because it’s not about the size of the movie, it’s about the script.”

Bravo Jennifer Lawrence, the girl with the look, in a upcoming film that is a sad movie, but once again it all about the magic of words on paper brought to the silver screen in a land where magic is real and dreams come true.

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