Hunger Games vs. Twilight vs. Harry Potter

When the final Harry Potter movie came out last summer, I thought my childhood was over for good. Awhile later, I found the Hunger Games.  I read all three books in a matter of days, and again sunk into depression because they too were over.  But then – could it be?  Light shone down from heaven, and Lionsgate bought the rights to produce the Hunger Games movies!  The first one premieres next week, on March 23rd.  I will be there, dressed up as Katniss, because no matter what my boyfriend says it is NOT weird for 22 year-olds to do such things.

If you haven’t heard of the Hunger Games, then I suggest you buy the first book as quickly as you can and read it before next Friday. It’s an exciting, multi-layered story with a little darkness, and since it is technically a “young-adult” book, it is pretty quick and easy.  As well, I am a big proponent of reading the book before seeing the movie (and ideally you want to give yourself a month or so to let the small details fade from your memory, otherwise you will just be angry throughout the movie, so maybe you should wait a couple weeks on that as well).  Hurry!

Basically, in the future an evil “Capitol” makes children fight to the death every year in return for food for their families.  There’s also a love triangle, but the story is way more complicated than Twilight could ever hope to be, which brings me to my point… I’m sick of the comparisons between Twilight, Harry Potter and the Hunger Games.  Although it is entertaining, Twilight doesn’t even come close to the other two.  Yes, I admit I did read the entire Twilight series, but as someone on pinterest put it “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.” And the Hunger Games is about life and death, which is also a little bit heavier than love (don’t just take it from me, it’s scientifically proven).

Need more convincing?  Here are five reasons why the Hunger Games is going to kick Twilight’s ass this year:

1) I wish I was as cool as Katniss

Katniss is a skilled hunter.  There is no question that she would win in a fight vs. Bella.  Besides all of that, I think she is a much better role model for girls – she takes control of her own life instead of pining away for a guy, she deeply cares about her family and friends, and she has actual, independent thoughts.  Katniss (like Hermione) makes it cool to be smart.  Not to mention, Jennifer Lawrence (the actress who plays Katniss) is extremely talented and seems much more “down to earth” than Kristen Stewart.  I can’t wait to see her portrayal of Katniss on screen.

2) Peeta & Gale are guys I would actually want to date

Would you want to snuggle with a rock?  I always had to question why Bella picked Edward the stone-cold vampire over the cuddly wolf.  Also, I was pretty frustrated that Bella wouldn’t just go for the normal guy who liked her (I forget his name) in the first book.  Peeta & Gale (the two leading men in the Hunger Games) don’t have any weird supernatural stuff going on (aka: serious baggage).   They’re charming, resourceful, normal guys.  I’m Team Peeta myself (and Brandon is the taller lookalike of the actor who plays him – Josh Hutcherson), but Gale (played by Liam Hemsworth) isn’t too bad either.

3) The Hunger Games appeals to a much broader audience

Unlike Twilight, males will actually want to go and see this movie.  While I am most looking forward to the love story (cave scene anyone?), there will be plenty of action and killing going on to keep guys entertained.  Additionally, the story appeals to a much broader audience, age-wise (proven by the fact that over 12 million copies of Suzanne Collins’ book are in print). Similar to the Harry Potter franchise, I am sure that theaters will be filled with a varied demographic.

4) Social Media wins!

I had to throw some marketing in here somewhere!  Check out Capitol Couture, an online magazine that gives “fashion advice” to citizens of Panem.  You can also be sorted into a district on the facebook page (which made me really happy because it brought back fond memories of playing the “sorting hat game” in 7th grade) and join your district’s community.  There are a million ways for fans to connect creatively to the story, letting them literally “live it”.  So cool!

5) The Hunger Games is expected to have a $150 million debut

Pre-release polling has the film drawings more movie audience interest than the first Twilight ($69.6 million).  That’s also more than “Breaking Dawn Part 1″ ($138.1 million), “New Moon” ($142 million) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1″ ($125 million)….(See the full data here & here!)  Pretty impressive numbers that bode well for the franchise.  Lionsgate has already signed on to produce the sequel “Catching Fire” which will debut in November 2013….thank god my childhood can at least extend until then.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

-Lauren Salisbury

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