By Olivia Gard
Ames247 Staff Writer
“The Hunger Games,” which premiered at 12 a.m. Friday, has been anticipated by young adult readers across the country since the book series by Suzanne Collins was introduced in 2008. Thursday evening, fans lined up at movie theaters, waiting to see young people fight to the death in a fictional future post-apocalyptic world where the strict “Capitol” government forces two tributes from each district to enter a game where the only goal is survival.
“The Hunger Games” movie, presented by the Lionsgate studio, is an adaptation from the first book of the trilogy. The books have amassed popularity from readers, and the long gap between the books and the introduction of the movie has helped build up positive suspense in fans, said Josh Tuggle, freshman in construction engineering.
“The excitement is brewing,” he said.
Tuggle said several factors contributed to his enjoyment of the books. The relatable age of the characters and their experiences kept him interested as well as the “action and excitement,” which he said kept him on his toes while reading. Although Tuggle believes “it’s hard to beat a book with a movie,” he said he was very excited to attend Friday’s 12 a.m. showing.
Samia Abdulrahim, freshman in kinesiology and health, said she planned on arriving at the theater at about 10:45 p.m. Thursday to wait in line. She picked up her wristband Thursday afternoon, labeled number 77, which will show her place in the line at Cinemark Movies 12. Abdulrahim said she will use the midnight showing to critique how well the movie adapts to the books. How well the movie will represent the book’s characters and strong moral themes is deciding for the movie’s success, she said.
“The book has really strong messages, so if they can portray that in the movie, I think they did a really good job,” said Abdulrahim.
Themes represented in “The Hunger Games” include ideas about the role of society and government, individual identity, sacrifice and romance. Kyle Kraus, freshman in electrical engineering, said he could relate to the experiences characters in the books face.
“I felt like if I was going through what they were going through, I could see myself doing the same thing,” Kraus said. “If I saw someone in need, I would probably help them out and do what’s right.”
Kraus attended the midnight showing with a group of friends, all of whom have read the books in preparation. Kraus said the books are so important for preparation he “threatened to rip up [the] ticket” of a friend who was finishing his reading at the last minute.
Social networking sites, such as Facebook’s “The Hunger Games” fan page, have contributed to the suspense for the movie by providing video clips and other interactive information. Internet speculations and reviews created by everyday people have the potential to share opinions very quickly after a movie is released, said Thomas Beell, who teaches “History of the Moving Picture” at Iowa State.
A lot can hinge on the first opening day of films like “The Hunger Games,” where all theaters have a premiere of the movies at one time and people can look up reviews instantly afterwards, Beell said. Those who attend the midnight showing will have first chance at sharing their assessments with the rest of the world.