Coming as a shock to absolutely no one, Lionsgate has gone ahead and announced a release date for the second film in The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire, which will hit theaters on November 22, 2013. For a bit of reference here, the first film in the series has not even released a trailer yet and will not arrive in theaters until March 23, 2012. So while Lionsgate has apparently seen a bunch of stuff they like, fans of Suzanne Collins’ book trilogy beat themselves bloody to grab Hunger Games pins at Comic-Con. Accessories are the new sizzle reels.

There are no other details about Catching Fire as of yet, but the principal cast’s contracts all include options for up to four films (should the films prove successful, the final book in the trilogy would be split into two films). Basically, get ready to see lots of Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson going nutty and murderous on-screen, because this franchise is not going to rest on its laurels.

Joe Drake, co-COO of Lionsgate and President of its Motion Picture Group, announced the date, saying that “the magical thing about the Hunger Games trilogy is that the books have such a vastly broad appeal. The stories truly offer something for everyone, and the period around the Thanksgiving weekend is such an opportunity for families and friends to make an event of going to the movies.” I wouldn’t go that far, but Drake may be on to something here – most families would love to split up their holiday time between eating deep-fried turkeys, coming to terms with how much they’ve disappointed their families, and watching people battle to the death on a giant movie theater screen. At the very least, families will be able to mutter to themselves that they have it easy by comparison, as the Tributes in Catching Fire literally have to beat a clock in order to escape being murdered by toxic blood raining from the sky or a massive tidal wave or a beast that rips people to shreds. The holidays! They’re so fun! Pass the pecan pie!

I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that the third film in my as-yet-unwritten twelve-film series about child murderers and the governments that breed them will have a release date of July 2, 2029. I suspect that the children who will ultimately star in my tale of Battle Royale-gone-North-American have not even born yet, but that will not stop me from sealing up that release date now. Take this as a message, The Amazing Spider-Man 14, that entire week belongs to me and my little homicidal gems.


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