Talk about long-term planning. Lionsgate on Tuesday announced dates for the next three (!) movies in its flagship "Hunger Games" series.
“Catching Fire,” directed by Francis Lawrence, will come out just before Thanksgiving in 2013, while the two “Mockingjay” movies will be released in November 2014 and November 2015. By the time the final “Hunger Games” movie rolls around, so much time will have passed that we'll be long past this presidential-election cycle and knee-deep in the next one.
In making the announcement, Lionsgate revealed its intention not to play the game that “Twilight” studio Summit and “Harry Potter” company Warner Bros. played, in which it switched up the seasons for one or more sequels. (Incidentally, the executives in charge of Lionsgate ran Summit during its "Twilight" days. So they clearly don't want to try that again.)
It’s a smart move, marketing-wise. Consistency is good for consumers, who can now reliably expect a “Hunger Games” movie every November the way a previous generation waited for a new comic book every month, or how most of us anticipated, you know, pre-DVR television. The move certainly ups the ante for competitors, who will think long and hard about releasing anything remotely youth-oriented around Thanksgiving.