Kickstarting a movie franchise based on a bestselling book series is tricky business. For every Harry Potter, there’s an Eragon (and a Percy Jackson, and a Series of Unfortunate Events). The filmed version of The Golden Compass cost close to $200 million – a huge expenditure that didn’t pay off. It looks like the makers of the upcoming Hunger Games movie are taking a slightly more conservative approach: according to a report on the Baseline Intel blog from the American Film Market, the film will have a budget of roughly $60 million. That’s about $20 million more than the budget of the first Twilight, but hey, the first Twilight didn’t feature a lavish future metropolis. Do you think it’s enough?
Speaking as a proud limousine Marxist, I tend to think smaller budgets are better – they prevent bloat, and force the filmmakers to get creative instead of just throwing money at the screen. And, if you think about it, the first book doesn’t necessarily require much in the ways of set design or special effects. You’ve got District 12 and the Capitol, sure, but it’s not as if you see very much of either place. (Remember, Katniss spends most of her time in the Capitol training.) And the bulk of the story takes place in the forest of the Arena. So basically, we’re looking at a movie that’s 75% The New World, 15% October Sky, and a mere 10% Blade Runner. $60 million sounds about right!
What do you think, Hunger Games fans? Is this the end of our Downey-as-Haymitch dreams?