Hollywood is a lot like a four year old in that it can be very prone to something my grandmother called “monkey see, monkey do.” What that means, essentially, is that any behavior you see exhibited, you’re likely to then mindlessly mimic. It also implies that you’re as stupid as a monkey. Or at least that’s how I used to take it. When Avatar made more money than the gross national product of some of our greatest nations by coming out in 3D and jacking up ticket prices, suddenly every film that was hitting theaters started coming out in 3D and jacking up ticket prices. It only makes sense, then, that since the Harry Potter franchise was able to double dip ticket sales by turning the last book in the series into two movies, that future book to film franchises would soon be doing the same. And they have been; we’ve got Peter Jackson turning The Hobbit into two films, we’ve got whoever makes the Twilight movies turning whatever the last Twilight movie is called into two films. And now, we’ve got word that the last book in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy “Mockingjay” will be turned into two films. Or, at least, those three books will somehow be stretched out into four movies.
When the trend started with Harry Potter I got what was happening. “Deathly Hollows” was a big book with a lot of story, and it made sense that the process of adapting it would be easier in a two-parter. They got a pass. Things seemed a little strange when Peter Jackson did it. Purportedly he is writing all new material to fill out the now two-part story of “The Hobbit”. That’s a risk that fans might not accept. I haven’t read past the first couple hundred pages of the first “Twilight” book, so I don’t know how essential it might be to split that last book up; but at the point it was announced as being split things seemed to just be getting ridiculous. Surely all of these books don’t need to be split for storytelling reasons. You’re just cashing in now, Hollywood!
With this new announcement about The Hunger Games becoming a four movie series there is no question that this is going to become a standard ploy to milk more money out of our pockets. I’ve read the “Hunger Games” Trilogy; the third book is no longer and no more complicated than the first two. And the quotes from the studio in the article don’t even address the story; they’re all about finances. At least try to trick me into thinking you’re doing this for the right reasons! Lionsgate COO Joe Drake called the Hunger Games deal “the highest-selling film we’ve ever had” and went on to describe it as “the movie that can change their company.” The article gushes about how Lionsgate bought the rights to the books before they became big successes and that they’ve “retained the majority of the upside” in the talent and distribution deals. That’s great for them, but it doesn’t mean I want to see a third Hunger Games movie that ends for no reason right before Katniss makes her way to the capital. I’ll say good day to you, Hollywood. Good day. [Deadline Pleasure Ridge Park]