‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Director Responds To The Film’s Box Office Success

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a genuine box office phenomenon.

In case you’ve lived under a stack of Thanksgiving leftovers, the follow-up to the 2012 hit The Hunger Games is making a crazy amount of money from moviegoers around the world. In fact, the movie has reportedly on-track to pass the $500 million mark this weekend.

Not surprisingly, Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence is quite pleased with the film’s success. The sequel’s popularity certainly bodes well for the forthcoming follow-up Mockinjay.

“The numbers are a bit crazy. Sort of hard to comprehend really, but this franchise does have an amazing fan base. I am really happy that the Johanna scenes get great laughs. I think she’s one of the standouts in terms of new characters and am really proud of her scenes,” the filmmaker told MTV News.

One of the challenges Lawrence faced while crafting The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was making sure that people who hadn’t read the books could follow what was happening on-screen with relative ease. The director was particularly interested in putting together a motion picture that “could stand on its own.”

“I wanted people to be able to fall in step with the movie easily whether they’ve read the books or seen the first film. The trick is not over-explaining, and that was a fine line that I think we were able to tread appropriately,” Lawrence explained.

This isn’t the first time the filmmaker has adapted a book into a major Hollywood movie. Lawrence previously tackled the big-screen version of I Am Legend starring Will Smith and the Reese Witherspoon drama Water for Elephants.

“The adaptations of ‘Water for Elephants’ and ‘Catching Fire’ were probably the closest in process because I truly wanted to make as faithful an adaptation as possible for both. Although, I worked much more closely with Suzanne Collins [author of The Hunger Games trilogy] than I did with Sara Gruen,” he explained.

Now that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is making a ton of money in theaters, the cast and crew will soon begin putting the finishing touches on the second part of Mockingjay. Francis Lawrence told Variety that there are still several months worth of shooting left to do.

“We start shooting again in Atlanta right after Thanksgiving until December 20th, then we break for Christmas and then we shoot for three more months in Atlanta and two months in Europe. We’re mostly shooting in sequence except for a scene here and there,” he said.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is in theaters right now. Did you catch the sequel starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson over the Thanksgiving holiday?