‘Hunger Games’ Prequel Lands SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement

Lionsgate, a non-AMPTP company, has secured a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement for its upcoming tentpole, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Deadline has confirmed.

This will allow the pic’s cast to promote the movie if they want to; that is if the strike is still going on. The pic opens Nov. 17 and expected to hit $50M in its first three days.

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The movie, which is set 64 years before Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen and the events of the original Suzanne Collins books and films, stars Rachel Zegler, Tom Blyth, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, Jason Schwartzman, and Oscar winner Viola Davis. If that ensemble comes out on late-night TV and social and trumpets the film to the sky, it will be interesting to see if B.O. projections spike, as many movies’ tickets sales this fall have been muted due to the fact that their casts aren’t permitted to do publicity.

Songbirds & Snakes has a rare position among tentpoles this fall as few have been unable to promote with their casts due to the strike. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour cleared a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement however, Swift did promote the movie heavily: She posted a few items on social and made an appearance at the pic’s Oct. 11 premiere at LA’s The Grove.

A24’s entire Q3 and Q4 slate count SAG-AFTRA interim agreements including Dream Scenario, Dicks the Musical, Priscilla and Iron Claw. Their casts have shown up at film festival premieres and awards season events.

Despite movies nabbing interim agreements, some actors still feel skittish about tubthumping. However, if both the AMPTP and the actors reach a deal in the near future, such worries will greatly ease.

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