It will be party time in Panem tonight as the box-office smash “The Hunger Games” debuts at midnight on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download.
Many retailers – including Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, FYE and Hastings – are planning parties to mark the midnight release. To find a party in your area, go to http://hungergamesreleaseparty.com.
After grossing more than $407 million during its theatrical run, the first film adaptation based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young-adult dystopian book series is the No. 2 domestic release so far this year, trailing only the superheroic smash the “The Avengers,” according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
With its $155 million debut weekend back in March, “The Hunger Games” scored the third-best domestic box-office debut ever, behind the $169.2 million opening for last year’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ and the $158.4 million opening of 2008′s “The Dark Knight.”
The excitement for tonight’s DVD release surely has been heightened with Amazon’s announcement that “The Hunger Games” trilogy has become its top-seller, surpassing the seven-book “Harry Potter” series, reports the New York Times.
“The Hunger Games” take place in a bleak, not-too-distant future in which North American society has collapsed and been replaced by Panem, in which every year two teenagers from each of the country’s 12 districts are summoned to the corrupt Capitol to participate in the deadly “Hunger Games,” a spectacle televised throughout the land. In District 12, Panem’s poorest district, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence) and her best friend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) keep their families fed by hunting in the woods, even though such activities are illegal under the country’s oppressive government.
When Katniss’ beloved 12-year-old sister Primrose (Willow Shields) is picked in the annual random drawing to fight on behalf of District 12 in the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss does the unprecedented to save her sister: She volunteers to take Prim’s place. She is joined in the deadly Games by fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), the local baker’s son with whom she has a complicated history.
“The Hunger Games” also stars Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci and Toby Jones.
Lionsgate is planning to release three more movies based on Collins’ trilogy: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” will open in theaters Nov. 22, 2013; “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1″ is set for Nov. 21, 2014, release; and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2″ following on Nov. 20, 2015.
Casting has already begun on “Catching Fire,” which will be directed by Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend”), with Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer, Lynn Cohen and Maria Howell added to the sequel so far.