Midnight madness: Fans flock to theaters for 'Hunger Games' release

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, left), Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson, center) and Cinna (Lenny Kravitz, right) in 'The Hunger Games.'

Photo by Murray Close/Lionsgate

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, left), Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson, center) and Cinna (Lenny Kravitz, right) in "The Hunger Games."

The Hunger Games (No Rating)

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Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens

Length: 142 minutes
Released: March 23, 2012 Nationwide
Score: 3.5
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Wes Bentley, Woody Harrelson
Director: Gary Ross
Producer: Nina Jacobson
Writer: Billy Ray, Suzanne Collins
Genre: Action/Adventure, SciFi/Fantasy
Distributor: Lionsgate

Showtimes for all movies »

— Movie fans stayed up late and packed theaters early this morning throughout Southwest Florida for the release of The Hunger Games.

Hundreds, many of them dressing the part, filled seven theaters at the Regal Cinemas in Gulf Coast Town Center.

Dan Miller, with a designed beard to match that of the movie’s character Seneca Crane, the head gamemaker in the Hunger Games, escorted his daughter Bailey and several of her friends to the midnight showing of the movie. Every one of them was dressed in costume to match a character in the movie.

The fans of the three books written by Susanne Collins weren’t disappointed.

“They did an excellent job of keeping the important pieces of the movie in while editing out what they thought was unnecessary,” Dan Miller said.

With a plastic bow in hand and suction cupped arrows in her sheath, Meghan Ott did her best to look like the main character, Katniss Everdeen of District 12.

“I was a little disappointed with some of the minor things they cut out but overall they did an incredible job and the movie was definitely worth the wait,” Ott said.

The movie also drew a crowd of non-readers who simply want to see a good film.

“I haven’t read the books and honestly have no idea what it is about but the trailer looked awesome,” said Elliot Taylor, a junior majoring in art at Florida Gulf Coast University. “I just hope there is a lot of action.”

The end of the movie was met with an eruption of applause and cheers.

“I had no idea what to expect but I’m so glad I came,” Taylor said. “All the actors were amazing. Even Lenny Kravitz.”

Bailey Miller, dressed as the flamboyant Effie Trinket, agreed with her father Dan’s opinion about the highly-anticipated release that is expecting to set box office records.

“They did a great job of translating the books into the movies since the books were written in first person and the movies had to be in third person,” said Miller, the Cypress Lake High School student. “I can’t believe we have to wait more than a year for the next one.”

For Miller and the rest of the crowd that is not sure how they can wait for the next movie, ‘May the odds be ever in your favor.’

What did you think of The Hunger Games? Send your opinions to cdesk@naplesnews.com?

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