UPSOUND: Happy Hunger Games! Happy indeed, for Lionsgate. The studio behind the movie that broke box office records- before it even opened. Fandango says it is the top selling franchise opener of all time, nearly 2,000 showings sold out days before its box office debut. The Hollywood Reporter's Georg Szalai went to an early screening: SOUNDBITE: GEORG SZALAI, NEW YORK BUREAU CHIEF, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Audiences left and were pretty excited. Especially the young audiences like it but even older audiences my age and older seem to enjoy it so the hope for the marketers of the movie has been that it really hits all four quadrants of movie audiences meaning male, female, younger and older and that's usually what you want to go for." The film had a built in target audience- more than 24 million copies of "The Hunger Games" are in print. And as far as a year in advance- marketers were using traditional and new media to make sure they hit their mark. The book has more than 3-million likes on Facebook and more than 300,000 followers on Twitter. Professor Sam Craig is the Director of the Entertainment, Media and Technology program at New York University: SOUNDBITE: SAM CRAIG, PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR OF THE ENTERTAINMENT, MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "You've got trailers for the web, you've got games for the iPhone, you've got Twitter, you've got Facebook and they did one clever thing: they had a contest, they invited some fans to the set to get them involved so these kids are really honored to be there and they want to tell everyone else." REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: And that buzz is heating up. Hours before the movie debuts Hunger Games is one of the day's top ten searches, according to Google Trends. SOUNDBITE: GEORG SZALAI, NEW YORK BUREAU CHIEF, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The latest analysts figures I've seen say that it could be about $350 million dollars in U.S. box office alone and since that is usually less than 50% of global box office these days for films that means you know we could pretty much get into $700 million or that range of global box office maybe even more." Numbers that could lock-in Hunger Games as the next big Hollywood franchise. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.
Mar 22- On the eve of the much anticipated opening of The Hunger Games movie, Hollywood is already doing the math- and likes what it sees. Bobbi Rebell reports. ( Transcript )
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