Chalk one up for the good guys

There are many reasons I love the Hunger Games.  Dead last is the story, and the story is rock solid, well written and entertaining as hell.

The first reason is that Scholastic published it.  “Scholastic (or Scholastic Inc.) is a global book publishing company known for publishing educational materials for schools, teachers, and parents, and selling and distributing them by mail order and via book clubs and book fairs. It also has the exclusive United States’ publishing rights to the Harry Potter book series.[2] Scholastic Inc. is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books.”  Need I say more?  Right now they are making a killing and I’m thrilled for them.

I also like Suzanne Collins.  Like me she’s an Air Force brat.  Unlike me, she went on to get a Masters in writing, lucky kid.  She’s always focused on writing for children and I really like that.  Her style is straightforward and no nonsense.  If anything, it might be described as “spartan” which gives the reader a lot of room for imagination.

The movie has made all the right moves.  I’m thoroughly enchanted by the marketing of the film, which is the most unconventional I’ve ever seen.  “President Snow” sent a white rose to several ranking critics with a note that was so creepy last Valentine’s day that several devoted column space just to share how creeped they were.  (these guys are normally way too jaded to give a damn)  I’ve been “living” in a village in District Nine for about four months and have received many nifty trinkets for my time there.  The more involved the citizens were, the more trinkets we got.  In fact, I was in a pool of 50 to go to the premier.  I didn’t win, but it was cool anyway.  I’m sure the studio is watching closely to see if viral marketing really works.  Thus far, I’d say yes.

Finally, there’s the hollywood stock market.  In every way that doesn’t count, I’m really rich!  I can pick winning Hollywood stocks like crazy.  Well, mostly.  I didn’t buy Hunger Game stock when it first came out.  Yeah, I’m a moron.  The way film stocks work – every virtual dollar spent = 1 million earned in the domestic box office in the first four weeks of release.  And it’s *scary* accurate.  If you want to know how well a movie will do, forget the reviews.  Go to HSX and you’ll be on the money every time.  Right now Hunger Games is trading at $311/share and it’s anticipated to open at $130.  (translated $130 million the opening weekend in the US with $311 million domestic before April 23, not including overseas).  Just incredible.  That’s bigger than the Avengers.  Hell, that’s bigger than the Hobbit!  Not one of the Twilight films earned that kind of cash, though Breaking Dawn came close, I believe.  With those kind of numbers we may be looking at a billion before it’s over.  For one single film, three more in the franchise (though none ever track as strong as the first).

I’m just happy for them.  It’s original, it’s creative, it’s from Scholastic, it features a strong female character, it has a great anti-establishment storyline, I mean what’s not to love?  Sometimes even in Hollywood the good guys win one.


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