What do you get when you take a wildly popular young adult sci-fi triology, cast attractive actors to play the leading characters and turn it into film? Record-breaking box office sales, apparently.
The much-anticipated March 23rd release of “The Hunger Games,” a film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ post-apocalyptic thriller, is predicted to gross in excess of $100 million dollars in opening weekend alone. And according to The Wall Street Journal, Barclays Capital estimates that the movie will generate $275 million domestically. In the days leading up to its nationwide release, thousands of fans have camped out overnight across the country to buy tickets to premier shows in advance. Pre-release hype like this is rivaled only by the latest installment of the “Twilight” series. And as a result of their similar tweeny girl fan bases, The Hunger Games and Twilight have invited a wealth of comparisons between the two series. But how similar are they?
Although both young adult storylines feature female heroines and compelling love triangles, fans and critics alike agree that the similarities end there. In fact, a recent editorial in The Atlantic explained that most adult fans scoff at comparisons to Stephanie Meyers’ vampire-themed Twilight, largely out of a passionate disdain for the novel’s flimsy heroine, Bella. “Over the course of the series’ four books, I’m pretty sure Bella never kills, or even injures, anyone,” Noah Berlatzsky writes. “When she does resort to violence, it’s always ineffectual and comical, as when she hits Jacob and injures her fist.”
On the other end of the spectrum, The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen is a resourceful and impressive fighter, a heroine worthy of young female fans. According to Blatzky, “Katniss is an extremely competent hunter and archer, a born survivor who is deadly when cornered. Through the Hunger Games series, she racks up a body count that would impress Dirty Harry. Thumb-fingered Bella wouldn’t stand a chance [against Katniss].”
As excitement builds for the release of The Hunger Games, be careful not to offend feisty fans with comparisons to Twilight. For a list of further faux pas to avoid, check out the official movie site’s list of Dos and Don’ts.