A recent article by Joal Ryan at eonline.com (http://www.eonline.com/news/five_reasons_hunger_games_will_not_be/301941) entitled “Five Reasons The Hunger Games Will Not Be Bigger Than Harry Potter” seems to have crossed the realm into useless speculative banter by an online entertainment news giant trying to make an editorial splash where there is not one to be made at all. The article lists several points as to why the author believes that when The Hunger Games may become bigger than the Twilight series, it will assuredly not become bigger than the juggernaut Harry Potter series.
Point #1 ~ Family-Friendly Fantasy vs. Dystopian Mayhem
The author of this article claims that PG family-friendly mayhem will win out vs. what she calls the dystopian mayhem of the Hunger Games. I believe the Twilight series proved that notion wrong. From Harry Potter to Twilight to The Hunger Games, the teen focused movie market has obviously been progressing upon a certain line and indeed growing up with those same teen that watched Harry Potter at a very young age. Please don’t forget that it is these same kids that are now between 14 and 19 years old now. They have been growing up, and so has the subject matter in which attracts them. Furthermore, a larger part of the adult market than previously thought had bought into what everyone thought was a solely teen focused market movie in Twilight. As The Hunger Games shows its stuff, I believe it will garner as much or more of the general market than expected. After all, it is the new artful adult/teen cross-over movie.
Point #2 ~ Source Material
Here the author claims that The Hunger Games also will not unseat Harry Potter because it has much less book sales. First of all, The Hunger Games is a trilogy. The Harry Potter series includes seven books. Comparing singular volumes of the two book series seems guess work at best.
Point #3 & #4 ~ High Bar & Highest Bar
Comparing opening weekend numbers between the two is completely useless due to different ticket prices and different release dates. We also have to mention that societal trends of today are different than when the Potter series first hit the screen. When it is true that may not be a huge difference, it is still a factor. Perhaps, a better current comparison would be with the Twilight series. One has to wonder as to why Mrs. Ryan even made a point #4 here. Was he trying to get to a certain word count? Nah, that never happens in journalism submissions. (wink, wink)
Point #5 ~ International Flava
To think that The Hunger Games will be any less successful than Harry Potter because they didn’t use a corral of English actors is preposterous. Maybe Joal Ryan favors english pedigree actors? Hmmm.
Joal’s Bottom Line: is my point exactly. There has been no proof nor reason for the original article in the first place.
My Bottom Line:
At first glance, The Hunger Games seems to be an intelligent and artful progression from the days of Harry Potter and Twilight. Of course, the ticket draw will tell the tale as to who will win that war, but it does not tell the tale of which series will win best pictures or series between the two. After a cadre of Harry Potter films, I will be more than happy to be introduced to a brand new world…no matter how dystopian it is.
~ Erik Sudberg