Dispatches from District 12 - A Hunger Games blog

Sequel Hunger Games: Catching Fire goes massively over budget

Lionsgate pour torrent of money into second Hunger Games movie

With the release of the sequel to the 'Hunger Games' just a few weeks away, and in a week of otherwise excellent financial news for the makers of the second 'Hunger Games' movie, 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire', it has nevertheless become clear that not all has gone according to plan with the production of this particular blockbuster.

After the monstrous success of the first 'Hunger Games' movie, which grossed over $690 million worldwide, the producers behind the 'Hunger Games' series, Lionsgate, were evidently ready to put a pretty huge budget forward to ensure the success of 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire'. With the second movie in the 'Hunger Games' quadrilogy expected to out-perform the original, it was not unexpected for the budget to somewhat exceed that of the first movie in the 'Hunger Games' series, but it would appear that production costs have spiralled beyond what would have been expected.

It has been reported that the budget for 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' has exceeded $130 million. This represents a pretty massive increase over the cost of the first movie, which was produced on a budget of $78 million. Thus, the budget for 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' will be nearly 80% more than that of the prequel.

While it is by no means unusual for a successful film to be followed by a sequel that is heavily bankrolled, this sort of disparity between two movies in a series is far from normal procedure. It could, on the one hand, certainly be considered good news by 'Hunger Games' fans, as it indicates that the studio has backed the production fully in economic terms, allowing the director to fulfil his vision with few, if any, limitations.

On the other hand, such a large budget, far exceeding that of the first movie, could ensure that the studio plays a significant hand in how the movie turns out; wanting to ensure that it gets a satisfactory commercial return on its investment. This could possibly hurt the production, although a large budget doesn't necessarily lead to interference, as James Cameron could testify with regards to 'Avatar'.

Having spent $10 million on special effects alone, the director Francis Lawrence will certainly have no excuses for failing to bring the second 'Hunger Games' novel to the silver screen in all its glory. 'Hunger Games' fans now only have a short wait to find out how the movie turned out.

Christopher Morris watches too many sci-fi films, has a keen interest in current affairs, and is a regular contributor to Yahoo on television, cinema, video games, technology and politics.

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