The first two "Hunger Games" films have grossed more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office and "Catching Fire" was the highest-grossing domestic release of 2013 and the 10th highest-grossing domestic release of all time. So it's not at all surprising that Lionsgate wants to keep milking the cash cow.
This morning, the company announced that it would launch "The Hunger Games: The Exhibition" in summer 2015, several months ahead of the November 20, 2015 worldwide release of the fourth "Hunger Games" film in the franchise, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2." According to the press release, the exhibition will be featured in major museums and institutions across the country, will "include interactive displays of authentic costumes, props and other elements of the world of 'The Hunger Games'" and will be designed in conjunction with Thinkwell Group, one of the world's leading theme park and location-based entertainment companies. In addition, Lionsgate said it has asked Thinkwell to "explore additional theme park attraction and other location-based entertainment opportunities around the world," which of course got us thinking about the crazy (awful) possibilities for a "Hunger Games" theme park -- complete with stadiums where we could watch real-life "tributes" fight to the death in the arena. Once we started to imagine how gruesome such an attraction would be, it didn't take long for us to start brainstorming about other awful ideas for theme parks inspired by indie films.
Below is our list of 9 indie films we would never want to see turned into theme parks (listed below in chronological order from most recent title):
1. "The Bling Ring" (Sofia Coppola, 2013)
While critics and audiences were mostly divided on Coppola’s rather passive "The Bling Ring," most would probably agree that they'd never want to see the film adapted into a theme park. Based on the Vanity Fair story about a group of disaffected teenagers who nonchalantly robbed the mansions of stars such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, "The Bling Ring" is an exposé of celebrity culture and fandom. Not only would a theme park based on the film reinforce our unhealthy obsession with Hollywood, but the idea of a simulated tour of these grand homes narrated by a vapid Emma Watson is just too much for us. Anyway, it's not like we'd actually be able to steal any designer clothing or Hilton's pooch. Right?
2. "Martha Marcy May Marlene" (Sean Durkin, 2011)
What's the point of getting drugged before going to the theme park so that you'd trip out and only vaguely remember your time there? I don't think anyone wants a theme park that simulates the experience of living in a commune with one creepy dude who murders people and a bunch of women he's spooked into never leaving him. And then you'd constantly be having flashbacks and hysterical meltdowns every time a kid mentioned wanting to spend their birthday there. The only plus side to this theme park seems to be that it would probably have ample amounts of water rides. But other than that small upside, it just sounds awful.
3. "The Skin I Live In" (Pedro Almodovar, 2011)
Let's officially nix the idea of a skin-themed park or a confined-to-solitude ride. Sure, "The Skin I Live In" theme park, based on the creepy psychological thriller starring Antonio Banderas, would surely attract Almodovar fans, but to what? Gender-bending rides? Hop on and you're a man rapist, hop off and you're suited up in women's skin. Sounds like a truly Hellish experience that no sane person would fork over money to endure.
4. "Antichrist" (Lars Von Trier, 2009)
We’re all for a forest-themed theme ride, but “Antichrist” is the last film to base one on. In the film, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe, playing a married couple grieving the loss of their child, retreat to a remote cabin the woods to deal with their recent trauma. It’s there that all hell breaks loose, of the most disturbing variety imaginable. If your idea of a fun time is having a manic woman come at your genitals with scissors or watching a deer give birth to a dead fawn, then more power to you.
5. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
Everything about this just screams "bad idea." While Darren
Aronofsky's film is an insightful and heartbreaking look at drug
addiction, that doesn’t mean it warrants the theme park treatment. Yes, a Jared Leto gift store seems like a nice idea on paper, but how can
anyone even consider an amusement park with a drug addiction theme (plus, we don't want to imagine a "ride" based on Jennifer Connelly's depraved lap dance). Sorry, but a
roller coaster exploring humanity’s depravity doesn't sound too appealing. But, for
Aronofsky fans who want to see the director's work come to life, you're
better off holding out for a “Noah” park. At least it would have animals.
6. "Dead Man" (Jim Jarmusch, 1995)
Imagine it for a second: A train ride with buffalo as target practice. Native Americans popping up with meaningful, somewhat confusing advice. A relaxing float trip down a river to your death...nbut then, just when your brain can't take any more symbolism, Johnny Depp appears with a lesson about respecting our country's heritage -- and how you just pissed all over it by coming to this park. "That'll be $45, please."
7. "Pulp Fiction" (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
We're sorta surprised nobody's thought of this (terrible) idea yet. It's got theme park written all over it. There are built-in musical numbers, such as "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" and "Son of a Preacher Man," crazy costumed characters (such as a Samuel L. Jackson in a Jheri-curled wig) and, of course, visitors could break for lunch at Jack Rabbit Slim's. Come to think of it, aside from the casual gunfire, it's not such a bad idea.
8. "Slacker" (Richard Linklater, 1991)
The perfect theme park for the low-maintenance slacker crowd, a theme park inspired by Linklater's aimless but captivating film about twentysomethings in Austin, Texas would, of course, feature nothing in particular -- instead, visitors would stroll from one nondescript location to the next rattling on about conspiracy theories, Madonna's pap smear and anarchy. The biggest thrill would come in the form of a stop at a coffee shop where, of course, conversation would continue in a totally tangential direction.
9. "Blue Velvet" (David Lynch, 1986)
David Lynch’s works play like ghoulish theme park rides, and while we’d love to get lost in the worlds of “Mulholland Drive” or “Twin Peaks,” the same can’t be said to “Blue Velvet.” The suburbia Lynch conjures in the bonkers thriller is beautiful on the surface, and all kinds of twisted if you dig a little deeper. And while that’s the case for pretty much every environment Lynch manifests, the one in “Blue Velvet” ranks as his most toxic and unforgiving. Much of that has do with Dennis Hopper’s character, Frank Booth, a sadistic gangster who gets off by inhaling gas from a tank and beating women. Any theme park inhabited by Frank Booth is one that should never see the light of day.