You would think that Hunger Games was a massive cultural phenomenon judging by all the coverage it gets, but as far as I can tell the first book has sold 800,000 copies. That’s not bad by any means when it comes to book sales (these days. Must include the caveat ‘these days’) but it’s paltry when you look at the kind of numbers a successful movie needs. Let’s put it this way: if every one of the 800,000 people who bought the book were to show up for the movie they would sell 8 million dollars worth of tickets. With the film’s budget at 75 million dollars (at least), that’s not very heartening.
Yet the clip that aired on the VMAs tonight makes no sense at all if you’re not already a fan. And since the VMAs had an audience of 11 million last year, I’m betting that the majority of the people watching the show tonight (or in repeats) will NOT be among the pre-converted.
So what’s the story? Why is everybody treating Hunger Games like it’s Twilight Again? (The Twilight books, by the way, have sold tens of millions of copies)? Why is Lionsgate assuming that anybody has any idea what this shit is? The answer is because Hunger Games has an active online fanbase - the same reason the Hollywood studios keep thinking fanboy movies will make money.
I suppose that as we get to the film’s release the campaign will begin to explain what Hunger Games is and why anybody should care, but I am pretty surprised that this first clip, aired before millions, plays like some kind of a sneaker commercial or something.