‘Catching Fire’ scores the 4th biggest US opening ever: did you see it?

Jennifer Lawrence

For those of you who are super weary of the (admittedly overexposed) Jennifer Lawrence and her pooping stories, I’ve got some bad news. Girlfriend won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Even after the final The Hunger Games movie hits theaters in November 2015, JLaw won’t be leaving Hollywood unless she wants to do so. This franchise is so much different than The Twilight Saga, which has already seen many of its cast members fade into oblivion a year after its final installment. In contrast, Hunger Games is beloved by both audiences and critics alike. The major draw for ticket sales may not be Jennifer Lawrence herself; but I do think fans are in love with the multi-faceted manner in which she plays Katniss Everdeen.

Here’s some quick box-office numbers for you. Catching Fire has worked up an extremely respectable opening weekend of an estimated $307.7 million in global sales. $161.1 million of that comes from North America, which puts Catching Fire in 4th place for the largest domestic opening weekend ever (behind The Avengers, Iron Man Three, and Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Pt. 2). What’s more — Catching Fire wasn’t released in 3-D, so the movie had to sell more individual tickets to earn that 4th place finish. Not bad at all.

Now let’s do a quick discussion of the movie itself with some SPOILERS coming right at ya. I very much enjoyed the first movie of the series, but Catching Fire grabbed me a lot more (SO many tears) and was more impressive for its larger scale. Somehow director Francis Lawrence packed so much into just over two hours. The movie progressed through Katniss and Peeta’s victory tour, the announcement of the quarter quell twist, and the pomp and circumstance of the victors’ arrival, interviews, and training. All of that took so much time that I wondered how all of the arena action could possibly fit into the running time. The games themselves felt like they got less play time than the book would have me believe, but nothing felt rushed. All of the special effects of the games were a lot better this time around too, save for those ridiculous screaming monkeys.

Where Catching Fire really made its mark though was for its damn fine performances across the board. With the exception of a very wooden Liam Hemsworth, everyone did marvelously. Even Josh Hutcherson did well with his doormat of a character and made Peeta seem like more than a lovesick puppy dog. (Side note: Josh appeared on SNL this weekend and was fantastically self-deprecating .) I was particularly captivated by JLaw (of course) and the deadly dance between her and Donald Sutherland’s President Snow. When Katniss kept eye contact with Snow during her entire chariot ride, I got chills. Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson were just as good as last time, but Elizabeth Banks lent her Effie some brand new depth that was just heartbreaking. Poor Effie.

The biggest surprises of all from these cast members? Sam Claflin and Jena Malone were amazing as Finnick and Johanna. Remember how so many of us strongly doubted both of them? They certainly showed us by handling their characters’ most notorious scenes so well. Sam did great with the sugar cubes, and Jena completely owned that elevator magic. Respect.

Sam Claflin

Jena Malone

Jennifer Lawrence

Movie stills courtesy of AllMoviePhoto & EW.com

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128 Responses to “‘Catching Fire’ scores the 4th biggest US opening ever: did you see it?”

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  1. Dani2 says:

    I saw it on Friday. It really is worth the hype, I want to see it again πŸ™‚

    • LadySlippers says:

      I was super happy they did this book justice! (Unlike the last book). I want to see it again as well.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I haven’t read or seen either one. The concept just seems horrifying to me. Is it worth it? Or do you come away with images you wish you didn’t have stored in your brain forever?

      • Rachel says:

        Goodnames, the concept is horrifying. Yet it’s what civilizations have done for thousands of years. Bread and Circuses, my friend. Enslaving the conquered. Offering them up as amusement for the victorious masses.

        It’s also a very interesting social commentary on how we, as a society, have become so desensitized to violence. Violence is no longer something abhorrent. It’s now entertainment. Movies, video games, etc.

        If you like to read, you should definitely do it.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Thanks, Rachel. I’ll try it.

      • LadySlippers says:

        @GoodNames: I wholeheartedly agree with Rachel. The books are very good and it is very much a statement how human beings are so cruel to one another. In addition Katniss, unlike Bella, is a well drawn out character and isn’t perfect. But tries to do the right thing — even if it’s at her expense.

        The first movie is bad but the second is anything but. It (at least me) really makes me want to crusade to make our world a better place.

      • anon says:

        read the books first. it gives so much than the movies can.

      • Kcaia says:

        I will crusade with you, ladyslippers. I’m on my own personal crusade anyways. Technology and information are evolving much faster then the human species, and I shudder to think what kind of world this will be in 10, 20+ years, if people don’t start using logic and giving a f about other people and circumstances that don’t relate to them, before it’s too late and it DOES effect us all, like the state of our country, currently.

      • LadySlippers says:

        @Kcaia: I think our world is solidly heading in the direction that we don’t give a flying fig about anybody other than ourselves (and a great many places are already there). πŸ™

      • Kcaia says:

        I agree. Ten or twenty years may be a bit optimistic. the problem is, those that do care, sometimes think a difference can be made if they could just instill old fashioned morals and values on the new generations, but that is just not going to work. judging each other and putting each other down does not help the situation, in fact, I believe, it’s making it much worse. Young people will no longer stand for being told who they are and what they should be, they have lost confidence in authority. so what can we do at this point? if you can’t control or stop the darkness, you CAN turn on the light. Which in this case is by showing young people how they can be better, not by telling them that they need to be. Nobody will listen to the man who tells everybody how stupid they are, but they will listen to the man who says he can make them smarter and happier.

      • Kate says:

        thanks for the post, I’m going to have to purchase the books

    • EbonyS says:

      I want to see it again today! And I agree with you, Bedhead. The standouts to me were Finnick and Johanna.

      I could NOT stop laughing during expletive rant at the televised event. She brought a frenetic energy to Johanna that was just great. Glad she got the part.

      And a slow clap for Sam Clafin. I did NOT see that coming from Snow White’s childhood love. He had just the right amount of cockiness, yet devastation when he heard the Mockingjays screaming like his girlfriend.

      • Liv says:

        I don’t like Jenna Malone, but I really loved her as Johanna, she totally pulls it off! Same goes for Claflin, thank god. I think they are pretty important for the Quarter Quell scenes.

        Also Catching Fire is so much better than the first one, I’m really happy about how it turned out and how much they took straight from the book. Such a pity that Lawrence didn’t get to do the first film too. I hated how Ross made it seem like Katniss and Peeta had take a stroll in the arena or something, he left so much of the story out of the film.

    • Kcaia says:

      Me too, and it really blew me away with how good it was. I always thought the first one was overhyped, as a fan of the books, but I can’t even think of a way that they could have possibly made Catching Fire better. now wheres all those people saying JLaw can’t act? oh and Finnick and Joanna were spectacular, and I hardly ever even use that word.

      • Liv says:

        Seriously, she was spectacular. Please, the last scene of the film? I don’t know an actress her age who could play it like her. Maybe Saoirse Ronan, but I don’t think she would have looked believably with darker hair.

    • Katie says:

      Yes! I noticed this too. And I mean ok…I understand at this point she is “better off” but still, they’re not doing fantasically. At least in the arena they didn’t have noticeable makeup on her in a lot of the close up scenes.

      Overall though, super excellent well made movie. LOVED Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Sam Clafin. I will even grudgingly say Jena Malone did a very good job with the role. Bitchy roles seem to suit her well, lol.

  2. Timber says:

    No, and I’m not so sure I would see it when it comes to cable.

  3. Eve says:

    Nope — and it opened a week earlier in Brazil. I don’t plan to.

    The only dystopian movie I’m looking forward to watching is “Snowpiercer” and that’s it.

    • Anna says:

      Watched it last night – SO. MANY. TEARS! (Also got my picture taken with a Thor poster πŸ™‚ )

      LOVED it – I did not like the 1st movie at all, it did not carry the main conflicts of the book, but this one totally lived up to the pressures and demands, and even surpassed them. I think I held my breath during the whole thing. And applauded a lot. But cried way more.

      PS – I am with you on Snowpiercer, but no Russia release date yet.

      • Eve says:

        Same here in Brazil (no release date)…


      • LadySlippers says:

        Agreed Anna! I was crying w/i 15 minutes! My complaint with the 1st movie is they left/forgot the emotions of the book. This one had it from the opening scene! It was a fantastic movie.

      • Anna says:

        @Lady –

        YES. I mean, if you hadnt read the book (1), you’d never know that Katniss was playing at love to get audience support and win.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Agreed Anna. I read all three books and strongly disliked the first movie. Plus, if you hadn’t read the first book — you’d not really grasp the full importance of Rue. And that made me angry. Rue was a catalyst for a lot in book 1 but the movie only flirts with it.

    • V4Real says:

      Eve I’m so excited to see Snowpiercer. As for Catching Fire I will go see it over the Thanksgiving holiday. I actually liked the first one but I didn’t see it until it came on Cable.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Did you guys hear how Weinstein wanted to shave 20 minutes off the movie to make it more palatable (ie action-packed) to western audiences?

      Someone said that all the people involved in the making of the movie were dead-set against that and Weinstein finally gave in so we’ll be getting the full version over here in the US.

      • Anna says:

        I havent heard the part where he gave in. That’s why it’s still in limbo (w/no release date), no?

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Ok you’re right, Ana. I guess it’s not 100% definite but it *seems* to be moving in the direction of being shown in its entirety:


      • Claudia says:

        Oh man, I really really hope he leaves it alone. The director is more than capable of making a great film that will translate well in any cinema, and it’s time for Weinstein to stop underestimating the intelligence of the audience. Fingers crossed.

      • V4Real says:

        Yes Kitten , I heard about that. Also Tilda Swinton and Chris Evans sort of hinted at that indirectly when they spoke about it.

      • Eve says:

        Yes, Kitten, I’ve heard about that (the editting for American audiences*) and this is great news! Hopeful that Weinstein won’t butcher the movie.

        *Usually, the ones released in Brazil follow suit.

  4. Lucy says:

    I’m so proud of how well this movie is doing and I haven’t even seen it yet. All these great reviews are making me anxious!!!

    • Spooks says:

      I didn’t see it, but I might. As long as HP is still better, everything is OK.

    • Estella says:

      All these reviews are making me excited too! I think I will watch Hunger Games on Netflix to prep for CF on the holiday weekend.

  5. Harpreet says:

    Saw, found it too long. Still liked it though.

    I really think Mockingjay should’ve been 1 film, and this one could’ve been 2. So much happens in Catching Fire.

    • Clever hand says:

      Agree! I was just a little bored. The hubs, who didn’t read the books, really enjoyed it.

      • LeLe25 says:

        I didn’t read the books but went to see the first movie with a friend that had read them. I kept waiting for it to get good, but in my opinion it never did. I found it completely boring; I probably won’t see the second one as a result.

  6. marie says:

    Great script+ great director= Great movie.

    I feel like the new director knows what to do with his actors because everyone gave an overall better performance.

    JLaw was the standout (oibvisouly, DUH, she’s the main character) but I felt like she’s better when she doesn’t talk. Weird because she wins people over with her interviews.

    I LOVED Finnick. Period.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Agreed. Much improved script, great director, all gave the actors something to work with. A winning combo.

  7. SuSu says:

    No intention to see it. IΒ΄ve seen the first movie on TV and found the whole thing bad.
    LetΒ΄s face it without all the fans of the books there wold be zero hype about these movies.

    • Tapioca says:

      Same. I was hugely disappointed by the first film and I’ll wait until this one is on bargain bin DVD, if at all. I couldn’t get over how completely flat and lifeless J-Law was, for a character apparently fighting for her life, but maybe that’s because I love Battle Royale, which pees on The Hunger Games from an almighty height…

    • LadySlippers says:

      @SuSu & Tapioca: Not true with this movie at all. The movie can stand on its own AND STILL be fantastic. You’re spot on about the 1st movie but the 2nd movie is much improved.

      • Tapioca says:

        Hmmm… maybe. But if it sucks you’ll owe me two hours of my life back.


      • LadySlippers says:

        @Tapioca: Fair enough! Lol. But this movie is a night and day difference from the first. It really is.

      • Valois says:

        Add two more to that. I didn’t like the first one that much but I’ll watch this one based on the recommendations on here πŸ™‚

  8. Jackson says:

    Is it better than the first one? Everyone I know who saw the first one was just as underwhelmed as I was. I mean, it was watchable and it wasn’t bad, but it was just a way to kill 90 minutes before going to bed. Maybe you need to be into the books to be all jacked about the movies? Eh. I’m sure I’ll end up watching it when it hits cable, though.

    • Dani2 says:

      Definitely better than the first one in almost every way, there really is no comparison, I think you’ll enjoy it, I went with a varied mix of friends on Friday (two of them really hate the YA genre but they liked it) so you probably will too πŸ™‚

    • LadySlippers says:

      MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the first movie.

      I cannot say that enough. This is honestly a good film.

      • Liv says:

        I’m so happy that they stayed close to the book! They even say exactly the same words in the first scenes! I’m still mad at Ross that he turned the first one into a joke. He screwed up the end big time, leaving out pretty much everything that was important and making it seem that Katniss and Peeta enjoyed a happy weekend in the arena. Catching Fire captures the horrors and torture much better.

  9. MonicaQ says:

    Didn’t see it because I was at Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds but my brother had to take his girlfriend to see it. Apparently every time Josh Hutcherson came on screen, he snickered because the first movie we watched at home and my friend kept calling him “Wood”. He surprisingly liked it even though he says he prefers Battle Royal. I haven’t read the 2nd book yet so I try to do that before I see the movie. Didn’t happen with Hunger Games sadly.

    (Though you telling me in 65 years or whatever NO ONE thought, “Hey, we ain’t goin’ out like no punk” like they did in the first movie? Or were they threatening their people back home instead?)

  10. eliza says:

    Yeah, JLaw is not going anywhere. This “it” girl will be around for a long time. We are not done seeing her either this year as next month in American Hustle or whatever the movie is called with all the awful wigs in it.

  11. Janet says:

    I couldn’t get into the books at all and have no plans to see any of the movies. Plus Jennifer Lawrence is so overexposed that I’ll be happy if I never see her again.

  12. Mary says:

    Saw it. One of the best movies I’ve seen all year!

  13. Erinn says:

    I want to see it really bad – but I can’t handle it lol. I was a strong mix of horrified and in love with the first one. I hadn’t read the books – wasn’t expecting the level of brutality, or the amount I’d cry over Rue. It was an emotional roller coaster that I’m not sure I’m prepared for. Though I did read the synopsis of this one.

  14. JH says:

    Josh Hutcherson was sooo great on SNL! Love him!

  15. G. says:

    I didn’t even like this book series but my college had a deal where students could see it earlier and for free.

    It was SO WORTH IT. The movie was fantastic. I didn’t even check my phone once because it was so captivating.

    Anyone who is on the fence, go see it. If someone like me, who thinks The Hunger Games is overrated, likes it, then chances are you might too.

    • LadySlippers says:

      @G: This was one of the first movie in ages I wasn’t totally bored throughout. In fact, my phone wasn’t out once! I think the last time that happened was before I got a smartphone. No lie.

      • Esti says:

        Please tell me you don’t use your phone while watching movies in theaters. That’s unbelievably rude to the rest of the audience.

      • Mia4S says:

        I agree with Esti, people who have their phones out in movie theatres are classless and trashy. Please don’t. If you’re bored, leave.

        Terrific movie and improved on the first. A+ to the casting people as well. Just a wonderful job by all.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I do get your point. But I can’t leave because I have kids and am often escorting/ chaperoning them.

        I always sit far away from people and go to showings that don’t have large audiences so I’m not bothering others.

      • Kcaia says:

        Esti, why would it be so rude? I doubt she’d be making voice calls or have her ringer on, so what would the problem be? I think it’s rude to be worried about what others are doing, when there’s little to no relevance or disturbance towards others.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Yes, I’m not talking. Just surfing the web and with a lot of crappy movies out — I surf when bored. But I’m always discreet about it.

    • Dani2 says:

      “Classless and trashy?” You guys do know you can use your phones for more than just phone calls right? Why are you so quick with the pearl-clutching and to assume the worst about her? She’s probably referring to occasional texting or surfing the net and her phone would most likely be on silent. Goodness me. You’d think she just suggested doing a naked jig in front of the cinema screen.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Hmmmm a naked jig, eh? That would ensure an empty theatre all to myself! πŸ˜‰

      • Esti says:

        I assumed she meant web/texting — while that might not make noise, if you’re sitting in a dark theater and someone starts messing around on their phone, the light can easily be seen 5-10 rows around them. It’s crazy distracting for other people in the audience, which is why it’s rude.

        As others have said, if you’re bored, just leave. And if you can’t leave because you’ve got kids with you, then suck it up and watch the movie. You seriously can’t go two hours without playing around on your phone?

      • LadySlippers says:

        @Esti: I honestly do understand where you’re coming from but I am very careful and respectful of the people around me. I put the phone in my purse so even my kids sitting next to me can’t see the light. So if I’m not bothering the people next to me — why does it bother you so much?

      • G. says:

        Whoa! I just use my phone to check the time! I’m not texting or making calls, and I always make sure my screen is as dimmed as possible and the ringer is silent.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        “I put the phone in my purse so even my kids sitting next to me can’t see the light”

        This is KEY I think. I get annoyed when I see the light of other people’s phone-it distracts me. Then again, I’m the type of person who gets annoyed when someone chooses to run on the treadmill next to mine so I think I just get distracted easily.

        Anyway, sounds as if you’re checking your phone in the most considerate way possible, LadySlippers.

      • Dani2 says:

        @Esti She said she has a smart phone – with a smart phone, you’d turn down the brightness level, adjust sound settings to the point where it doesn’t even vibrate, and as she said, she puts it in her purse. @LadySlippers I use my phone to check the time and check the occassional text so let’s be classless and trashy together πŸ˜‰

      • Mia4S says:

        If you are very very sure you are sitting away from everyone else and keeping the light so dim no one else can see it… well the reason you take all those precautions is because you know it’s rude. And how do we decide what’s acceptable? One text? Three? Half light? Three quarters? When I take kids to the movies, I watch the movie. Laugh and engage with them. You think they don’t notice that you’re on the phone rather than watching with them? They do. Yes I have a smart phone too and it stays in my purse. Sorry, I’m a movie fanatic (and I’m with the Alamo Drafthouse on this one). No phones. Period.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I think the people opposed are actually missing many points.

        First, I’m not on it the whole time or even 5% of the time. Max I’m on it 10 mins (on and off) throughout the entire move. And that’s pretty rare for it to be 10 mins. It’s usually 30-60 secs here and there. Second, there are a great many things that people do that others might consider rude– talking on the phone in a store was considered taboo ten years ago but it’s super commonplace now. And there are a great many other examples as well. Third, I only do this when it bothers no one — and what I mean is there is no one around me. In a full or even half full theatre (unless only checking time) I don’t do it. Period/Full Stop. Fourth, my kids don’t need me to be engaged with them all the time. They are old enough to get that I have different interests then they do; and the reserve is also true. (Besides they much prefer that I read and engage them on books they like). Fifth, and this was my original point, I was SO engaged with Catching Fire that I didn’t even want to do something as simple as check the time. That would have meant my eyes were away from the screen — it was THAT good of a movie.

        Can we really stop value judging absolutely every behavior under the sun? I mean, I am a fairly considerate, kind, and intelligent person but with some of your reactions — you’d never know that. Please think about that.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        ^It’s pretty obvious from the way you handled this exchange that you’re not the type to be rude and thoughtless towards others.

        I don’t want to speak for other posters but I think some of us are just used to aholes (*sideye* to Lowe’s in Boston Common) who use their smart phones without discretion in the middle of a packed movie theater. That kind of behavior is very different from what you described here.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        This whole conversation is why I go to Arclight theaters! I am pretty obsessive over not being interrupted during a film, so I go to theaters with like-minded people!

        At Arclight, you get to reserve seats, they don’t let people in 5 minutes after the previews have started, and they have a big no-phone policy. They have someone come in and talk to the audience as a final reminder before the movie starts.

      • Sankay says:

        That’s still rude. I’m hearing impaired and as a result my eyesight is keen. A small amount of light turns my attention. I’ve been to movies where my eyes are drawn left, right, and down in front – I miss whatever is happening on screen. It’s only a 2 hour movie, please wait until the end to check your phones.

      • Nina W says:

        They specifically ask you not to fool around with your phones in theaters. They ask you to turn them off as a courtesy to others. It’s not pearl clutching to suggest that this applies to you as well as the rest of the theater. We pay a lot of money to sit in a theater and hopefully enjoy a movie and guess what, light and rustling around are distracting in a darkened theater. Also whatever you people are doing every five minutes with your phones you really need to think about why you can’t take a break and just turn the stupid things off completely for 90 minutes. I promise the world won’t come to a screeching halt if you disconnect.

  16. Buckwild says:

    Watched it and gotta agree about Sam Claflin and Jena Malone. I was one of the people moaning about how they didn’t look anything like their roles and how they would ruin the movie for me. They did good. On screen,
    Sam made me forget about them birthing hips and carried Finnick with charm. Jena was still lacking the looks of Joanna but had her spirit down to a T. This is why you have to watch something first to be a critic! L

  17. pretty says:

    oh yes!! i watched it. i loved it. catching fire was my fav book among the three books.
    they still left out a few kind of important parts, one of which would be katniss meeting with the two women from district 8 and learning about the possible excistance of dictrict 13 and haymitch’s quarter quell story.
    overall i’m glad it is crushing twilight’s record. hahahahah

    • Dani2 says:

      I’m glad it’s crushing twilight’s record as well, THG has way more substance (it’s not perfect at all but it’s a hell of a lot better) – all twilight illustrates is the importance of having a boyfriend lol

      • LadySlippers says:

        Agreed Dani. It’s nice to see a heroine that has depth.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Lady Slippers, one of the things I love so much about this series, is unlike Twlight, it isn’t about romance. It is about civil war…a romance happens to come from that years down the road, but it isn’t focused on that. The series entertains the part of my brain that isn’t a female stereotype.

      • Veggie says:

        That’s right Tiffany.

        There have been movies with female action heroes (or athletes, singers or with other competitions), but they get bogged down by unbelievably boring romantic plots.

        In the Hunger Games franchise romance has some importance, but not just as a distracting must-have. It is part of the cat and mouse game between Snow, Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch, with some real feelings intermixed. That makes it far more interesting than the ‘oh my boyfriend is unhappy, because I am tougher/more famous than him, so let me stop being so confident in trying to reach my goals’ nonsense.

  18. Mary says:

    And all the crap thrown on Lawrence being “overexposed”… l don’t get it! She is only in the spotlight when she needs to be , which is when she is promoting her movies and doing her job as figurehead of a huge franchise and fulfilling her contractual obligations. She is only really seen a few weeks before her movie premieres , or unless she is on the awards circuit, and then you don’t really see her. Relative to other celebs when they aren’t promoting their movies… she gets papped like 25% otherwise. The “overexposed ” argument is just unwarranted here.Telling pooping stories is pretty damn tame relative to what other stars do… like she doesn’t put her relationship with Hoult out on blast, she doesn’t pull crazy stunts, she doesn’t cause drama. Pretty kosher.

    And seeing how all the early word from American HUstle screenings have Lawrence as “stealing the show”…and the “standout”… you might be seeing some more of her this year. Go on, hate her for doing and being GOOD AT HER JOB.

    • A Different Kate says:

      I agree with you Mary. She’s in demand right now so she’s got a lot of films to promote. I don’t think she’s overexposed. She certainly isn’t actively seeking attention from the paps.

      I thought Catching Fire was really well done. It was much better than the first Hunger Games movie. These movies are not my cup of tea, but I have a daughter in middle school who has read the books, so I take her. These Hunger Games movies will have staying power unlike the Twilight drivel because the producers cast genuinely talented actors and actresses.

    • mark says:

      Chill out it’s just another opinion people just may not rate her as an actress it’s doesn’t mean they want her dead.

    • Nina W says:

      I like her but she is totally over-exposed and runs the risk of turning people off. I agree she has her job to do but her PR team needs to dial it back a little. That’s not “hate” please stop using that word inappropriately.

    • Veggie says:

      Chill out, Mark.

      Mary had an opinion as well. She never said people wanted anyone dead, so it is dishonest to imply that she did.

  19. aang says:

    No. Saw parts of the first one on Netflix, Meh. Why is the future always so depressing? This genre bores me.

  20. Celebitchy says:

    I saw it! I really liked it a lot and thought they did incredible justice to the book. Plus the new characters were very good, this review is spot on. My only complaint was that the end seemed weird and they had to add that mockingjay animation to let the audience know it was over. They could have reworked the final scene so it had more closure, even though there’s more coming. You got the sense that they just decided where to end the film during post production.

    • marie says:

      The book ends like that. However, JLAw looking at the camera at the end seemed forced and out of place like, it was good… goood….goooddddd…. and she had to f*cked it up breaking the fourth wall.
      And it wasn’t subtle. That is my problem, it was NOT subtle.

      • Mary says:

        That ending was incredible… Gave me chills. It was subtle in a powerful. Lawrence was subtle throughout the film, and that final moment … her emotions from horror to sorrow to anger to resoluteness was amazing. Several critics mentioned she deserved a nomination for that moment alone and I would agree. BFCA seems a lock.

      • Liv says:

        I found her amazing in that scene! Totally believable, which is pretty hard to get it across.

      • Celebitchy says:

        Thanks Marie I didn’t remember that ending to the book.

    • Faye says:

      I rarely see movies at the theater anymore, but I may make an exception for this one. Thanks for your heads-up that it’s good!

      On a related note, did anyone read Joe Morgenstern’s review in the WSJ Friday edition? He’s such a J-Law fanboy, it cracks me up.

  21. crazycatlady says:

    I loved it! I live in a small town and it was still nearly sold out on the third night. I cried at least 3 or 4 times. I’m totally blaming it on the pregnancy hormones though.

  22. Celine says:

    I thought it was really great! All the actors had a chance to shine. REally impressed Lawrence off course… and Malone and Banks.

    The ending was frustrating but amazing at the same time.

  23. Sachi says:

    If you saw the 1st movie and were expecting the same type of format ie. out-and-out Hunger Games adventure, then this movie is not it.

    It’s a proper 2nd/middle movie in that it sets everything up for the Mockingjay movies. I found it was a bit long, but I was still engrossed. The actors did a great job with the material and everyone was charismatic enough to command presence and make you pay attention. I didn’t want to miss anything especially President Snow’s words. It’s also deeper and darker, more to do with the tributes’ emotional and mental well-being, their characters and their motivations rather than just fighting to win all over again.

    Stanley Tucci is hilarious. Elizabeth Banks as Effie was lovely. I teared up at the same time she did and that scene felt so genuine, like these people have spent a lot of time together and their affection and bond were real. Effie is more than just this doll-like character whose hair changes colour every time she changes her outfit.

    I enjoyed Jenna Malone’s character, always liked her as an actress. Sam Claflin…yummy! Wiress and Beetee and Mags made me sympathetic even with the short screen time they got. Jennifer and Liam, IMO, have mad chemistry. I want her to end up with Gale in the movies. πŸ˜€

    I never read the books and I have no intention on doing so. This is one franchise where I’m not really interested in the book version and am fine with the movies. My sister said Catching Fire was 80% directly quoted from the book, so I’m happy. I actually find myself excited for the movies because I have not read the books. I have no expectations and standards, so I just base it on the actors and the script.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Oh Sachi, the books were wonderful though!

      • Sachi says:

        Sorry, LadySlippers! I have about 10 books on my “Next” list on Kindle and I’ve never thought to read the Hunger Games. My youngest sister is the one who convinces me to see movies based on YA books. I think she’ll be dragging me to see The Divergent next, too.

        I might change my mind about the books by next year, just so I can prepare for the Mockingjay movies. πŸ˜€

      • LadySlippers says:

        IMHO the Divergant series is not as good as the Hunger Games series. My kids got me reading YA novels awhile back and some are terrific; others not so much….

        (The Divergant series isn’t bad it’s just not as well written as Harry Potter or Hunger Games. Again, strictly my opinion)

      • Sachi says:

        Nothing will beat Harry Potter IMO. I read the last book in 3 hours and saw the DH Part 2 six times. My sister and I felt like we contributed a lot to its $1 billion box office record.

        But now you’ve convinced me to really think about reading the Hunger Games books. πŸ˜€

  24. Ellen says:

    Saw it, loved it, thought it was a big improvement over the first one. Elizabeth Banks was amazing and Claflin surprised the heck out of me. It did amazing business at our theater from what we could see (shows sold out 2 hours in advance, big lines, etc).

  25. davidbowie says:

    I saw on Friday and I loved it!

    I am eating crow because I am totally sold on Sam Claflin and Jenna Malone as Finnick and Johanna.

  26. Kelly says:

    I really enjoyed her enraged look at the end. She went from confused to I am going to kick Snow’s rear. Loved it.

    Overall thought it was great. Production values re: set and costumes was much better. Peeta and Katniss’ arena costume was great. That said, I enjoyed THG more than CF, but CF was my least favorite.

    Poor Finnick. I had heard a lot of negative press re: Sam C…, but I thought he did a good job. A little more earnest that Finnick would be, but heh.

  27. j.eyre says:

    I will be seeing it tonight, unfortunately by myself.

    I honestly make a point not to say I told you so however, I am breaking that rule here. I have said since he was cast Claflin would pull off Finnick and the louder the cries against him rang up, the more I dug my heels in. So, in this rare instance, I will declare – I knew it all along.

  28. Karen81 says:

    @ J Eyre,

    Wait to tomorrow night and you can see it with hubby & me. πŸ™‚

    Yes were going tomorrow night since Tuesday is bargain night by us. Two tickets for $10 ($12 if hubby gets them early via Fandango like for this one), split a large diet coke, sneak in Skinny Pop and some chocolate almonds and were all set. πŸ™‚

    • j.eyre says:

      Ah Karen81, I wanted to go to tomorrow (and my babysitter was available tomorrow) but I will be in Santa Barbara all day (which is not too bad.) Our local theater is $7 all day Tuesdays. Wish I could join you; I tend to sneak in Coppola’s Sophia in a can (the straw comes with it. If you have never gotten wrapped up in a movie and sucked up too much champagne through a straw due to an adrenaline rush, you’re missing out.)

      • Karen81 says:

        I will definitely have to give it a try. Have to make a bit more room in the “movie purse” between the skinny pop and candy but sounds it is worth it. Thanks for the tip! πŸ™‚

  29. klue says:

    So jealous! I want to see this movie!!!

  30. Aqua says:

    My daughter bought her ticket on line two weeks ago.She was going with a couple of her friends and because it premiered on her birthday and she could hardly wait .She said it was really good but that the movie was long and choppy.This movie should have been done in two parts instead of the Mocking Jay.BTW has anyone else noticed movie theatres charging two dollars more for reserved seating?

  31. Miss M says:

    In my opinion, Philip Seymour Hoffman did a great job too! But I could not expect anything different from him, πŸ™‚

  32. Lark says:

    Loved the film, so much better than the last one. It was really good, but I was kind of shocked at how young some of the kids in the theater were….some people are taking little kids to this movie, which seems crazy inappropriate (like 7-8). JenLaw’s performance in American Hustle went over really well apparently, so she may get another Oscar nom too (that said they apparently may put both her and Amy though in the supporting after all, and if they do that they MAY unfortunately cancel each other out)…..which is sucky. I want Amy to finally get her golden man.

    • Karen81 says:

      My husband and I are finding that to be the case too more often when it comes to movies at the theatre . My hubby is a huge James Bond fan (and I have to admit, I enjoy them as well) therefore we saw Skyfall opening weekend (breaking our Tuesday Movie Date Night standard). There was a ton of kiddies there at a 8 PM showing including ones that were like 3 or 4 years old, perhaps even younger!

      I understand finding a reliable babysitter is tough/expensive but there is no way I am bringing our young boys to a showing of a movie like that. Beyond it’s way too violent and intense for them, there is no way they are going to sit quiet for 3 hours when you factor in the previews and the length of many blockbuster movie today.

      For what it’s worth, we noticed that one of the many positives to going during the week is there seems to be less children at the theatre, at least ones who are going to make a disturbance during a movie.

  33. Morgan says:

    Glad I’m not the online who cried! I told my sister afterward that I lost track of the number of times I teared up — did not expect that. JLaw really is a great actor.

    I was shocked at Finnick and Johanna, too. I thought they were perfection.

  34. Tig says:

    Read all 3 books- haven’t seen any of the movies, and don’t plan to. That being said,CF was the most cinematic, and how they plan to stretch MJ over two movies a year apart is puzzling- that is definitely the worst book of the three.

    I am so glad that the director is getting praise- I love his ability to “capture” a world and bring it to life.

  35. Happy21 says:

    I didn’t! I figure I’ll wait till the crowds die down cause it’s not like I don’t know what happens, I’ve read the book.

    Instead I went and saw Dallas Buyers Club which I have been waiting to see for months and months. I was not disappointed and cannot wait to see how the amazing acting is rewarded come the official Oscar race. I highly reccomend it to anyone that isn’t sure whether they should see it or not.

    • Ctkat1 says:

      I saw Catching Fire and Dallas Buyers Club this weekend- DBC was really good and I think McConaughey and Leto are getting Oscar noms for it, they were excellent.

  36. Ctkat1 says:

    I loved the books. Halfway through the first one I drove to the bookstore to buy the other two and buy a full set to mail to my little sister, I liked them that much.
    The first film wasn’t great- the horror of the situation was underplayed, the emotions weren’t there, the shakycam and cheesy effects…it wasn’t great. THIS film is something else entirely- Francis Lawrence did a much better job with the tone, faithfulness to the book, casting, and the look and production values. Catching Fire is a really good movie on its own, and a great improvement over HG.
    Sam Claflin and Jena Malone were great; Finnick and Johanna are two of the best characters from the book, and they did a great job capturing the spirit of them.

  37. salma says:

    i didn’t like it

  38. Ai says:

    saw it last week and it’s much better than the first movie and my only complaint is how they really have weaken Peeta’s character. I don’t blame Josh because I felt like the script is too focus on Katniss, whereas in the book — Peet’s character isn’t so minor. He does much more than being put into the movies.

  39. MisJes says:

    Catching Fire completely blew me away. It lived up to all the hype I was hearing about it, and overall was completely fantastic. I can’t wait to see it again!

    First and foremost, Jennifer was INCREDIBLE. I saw an interview with her last week where she mentioned that her mother told her it was her best performance yet. I’m strongly inclined to agree with Mrs. Lawrence! She knocked this one completely and undeniably out of the park. She was raw, emotional, subtle and powerful all at once. Couldn’t take my eyes off her when she was on screen. She’s an amazing talent.

    Josh Hutcherson was the second stand out for me. He was completely engaging in every scene; emotional and so powerful. I was so impressed by Josh. I admit I blubbered whilst he *spoiler* held the morphling who saved his life in the water as she died, soothing her. I’m glad the screenplay allowed Peeta to develop more, to show his strength of character. Peeta is truly the strongest and most compelling character in the series, IMO.

    Finally, Johanna and Finnick – PERFECTION! I’m glad they’ve made everyone who gave them such a hard time when they were cast eat their words. Both performances were out of this world. They were both brilliant, and it goes to show – people who critique the casting agent’s choices before seeing the actors as their characters in the final piece – really have no fucking idea what they’re talking about!