Paul Kilfoil's World of Travel, Technology & Sport

Posted on  by Paul Kilfoil.
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"The Hunger Games" comprises a series of three books written by Suzanne Collins and published in fairly rapid succession between 2008 and 2010. The first book was released as a movie in 2012 and turned the relatively unknown actress Jennifer Lawrence into a star.

The phenomenal success of the first movie meant, of course, that the second and third books would also be turned into movies. The second duly followed in 2013, and thereafter the world waited with bated breath for the final instalment of the trilogy to be released. And it was, in November 2014, except it wasn't the final instalment but rather part 1 of the final instalment. I presume there will be a FOURTH movie which will be part 2 ... which may or may not be the actual FINAL instalment. Who knows? Perhaps a part 2, part 3 and part 4 are still to come?

So Hollywood have managed to convert a TRILOGY into (at least) FOUR movies. It would have been a simple matter to make the third book in the series into one movie, but instead they chose to split it into two, presumably to rake in more cash - after all, anybody who has made the effort to see the three previous movies is almost certainly guaranteed to buy a ticket to the fourth one. So spread out the action and watch the dollars roll in ...

But who can blame them, I suppose? Making movies is a seriously expensive business, and the entertainment industry is littered with stories of big budget productions that flopped at the box office and lost millions of dollars. So when a particular formula (such as The Hunger Games) proves successful, why not milk it for all its worth? The fans aren't complaining, from what I can tell. Personally, I enjoyed the first three movies and am looking forward to seeing the fourth.

The Hunger Games movies ... with at least one more to come

This situation isn't new to Hollywood. JRR Tolkien's epic saga The Lord of the Rings (also a trilogy), was made into THREE films between 2001 and 2003 ; however, the single book that was the pre-cursor to The Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Hobbit) has been used as the basis for a further three movies thus far. And who knows how many more films will be churned out if the latest is a box-office success? I guess the biggest problem is ensuring that the same cast of actors and actresses remains available over the years that are needed to produce the movies ... This issue is particularly difficult if the main characters are children, because in real life people get older (even actors) and if you want to keep the series going you eventually have to replace the aging actors with younger versions. This happened with the various Harry Potter movies, but in that case the producers decided to match on-screen aging with that of the actors and terminated the series after Harry had grown up and left school.

Other characters, of course, are ageless, and the prime example of this is James Bond. He never gets old, and as soon as the current actor playing the part starts to look long in the tooth they ditch him and get somebody younger. The paying public don't seem to mind ...

  © Paul Kilfoil, Cape Town, South Africa