Lionsgate announced on Tuesday that they will be releasing the next three Hunger Games films the weekend before Thanksgiving — claiming the Twilight slot — from November 2013 to 2015.
Production begins this September on the second film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which will be directed by Francis Lawrence, and will be released on November 22, 2013. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1 will be released on November 21, 2014, and the final film in the franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2 will bow on November 22, 2015.
Some outlets are questioning the amount of pressure that Lionsgate is putting upon themselves in order to produce three movies in just over two years. Steven Zeitchik of the Los Angeles Times notes that Catching Fire experienced delays when director, Gary Ross, left the franchise. And with such a short time between films, that the studio would need to hire a new director for the Mockingjay films while Lawrence is still in postproduction on Catching Fire should Lawrence continue with the franchise. But, in some ways the quick schedule is good because the sooner they film the younger Jennifer Lawrence will look. By the end of the series she’ll be in her mid 20s.
The Thanksgiving schedule worked out great for Twilight and The Hunger Games franchise should have no problem making the transition from the March release to November. In fact it will probably help, if that’s at all possible. It will be hard to beat the opening weekend of $155 million it made in March, but who knows. As of now, The Hunger Games, has made over $400 million domestically and $273 million overseas.