'Hunger Games' – North Carolina's Next Hollywood Blockbuster

Posted By on March 6, 2012

Hollywood insiders have placed their bets. All eyes are on North Carolina. Let the Games begin…

The Hunger Games

Based on the best-selling novel, the much anticipated screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games (rated PG13) opens on March 23rd, and while some in Hollywood are betting on it to be the next Twilight-sized phenomenon, many in North Carolina are celebrating the state’s part (as the fictional nation of ‘Panem’) in what is expected be a major blockbuster.

Jennifer Lawrence on the North Carolina set of 'The Hunger Games'

Jennifer Lawrence on the North Carolina set of The Hunger Games

The futuristic film stars the 2nd youngest actress ever nominated for an Oscar, Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class), and it was filmed in North Carolina.

You can watch the official trailer below!

 Cleveland County doubled as ‘District 12’, the hometown of Lawrence’s heroine, Katniss Everdeen, where residents have been celebrating with a festival of events that have been ongoing all month leading up to the film’s release, according The Charlotte Observer.

DuPont State Recreational Forest in Brevard served as the arena in 'The Hunger Games'

  After setting up a production office in Charlotte, the film crew also shot in Concord, Hildebran, Asheville, and other locations around western North Carolina.

Pre-games scenes were filmed at Coleman Boundary in Pisgah National Forest.

‘Hunger’-mania was already in full effect on Feb. 22nd, when the film broke all previous records to become the biggest first day advance ticket-seller in Fandango’s 12-year company history, according to Deadline, suggesting that Hollywood’s high expectations will likely prove true.

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Lenny Kravitz in 'The Hunger Games'

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Lenny Kravitz in The Hunger Games

 Collins’ original book is the first in a trilogy, and Lawrence has already signed on for (at least) two more sequels to come, the first of which begins filming again in North Carolina in May.

Lawrence will become a household name, as will Katniss in the few households where she is not already. Meanwhile, seasoned movie producers are more likely than ever to look increasingly to North Carolina as a new southeastern-Hollywood on the rise.

Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in 2011's 'X-Men: First Class'

Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in 2011s X-Men: First Class

Of course, The Hunger Games is not the first Hollywood production to opt for the Tarheel State instead of L.A. or New York.

Deliverance (1972), The Color Purple (1985), Dirty Dancing (1987), The Crow (1994), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (currently in theaters), and the upcoming Piranha 3DD are just a few of the major studio releases that were filmed in North Carolina.

Piranha 3DD

Then there’s a little flick called Iron Man 3, which just started production in Wilmington.

Set to hit theaters on May 3, 2013, it is the first film from Marvel Studios since the comic book giant was purchased by Disney – a merging of two entertainment industry super powers that only promises an even bigger blockbuster to be born right here in the Old North State.

'The Hunger Games' opens March 23, 2012
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Posted by Matt Artz

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