Pitting children against children in a merciless game of survival on live television was the compelling plot behind Suzanne Collins' meteoric rise as an author. After launching her career writing for...
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 has continued to dominate the North American box office for the third week in a row. The latest movie adaptation of author Suzanne Collins' highly-popular book franchise, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth, earned $21.6 million (£13.5 million) over the weekend (05-07Dec14), bringing its domestic total to $257.7 million (£161 million) since its release last month (Nov14).
Penguins of Madagascar is at two with $11.1 million (£6.9 million), while comedy Horrible Bosses 2 is third with $8.6 million (£5.38 million).
Big Hero 6 and Interstellar round out the new top five.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 has overthrown Dumb And Dumber To to land the biggest North American box office debut of the year (14) so far with an impressive $123 million (£76.9 million) gross. The third film in the franchise, based on the dystopian book series by Suzanne Collins, proved a popular choice with moviegoers, but fell significantly short of the $158 million (£98.8 million) take last year's (13) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire banked in its opening weekend.
Mockingjay - Part 1, starring Jennifer Lawrence as heroine Katniss Everdeen, performed better outside of the U.S. and Canada, where it raked in $152 million (£95 million) in the international box office.
Meanwhile, comedy Dumb and Dumber To slips to four on the new North American countdown, behind Big Hero 6 at two with $20.1 million (£12.6 million) and Interstellar at three with a $15.1 million (£9.4 million) take in its third week on release.
Gone Girl rounds out the top five at five.
Veteran actor Donald Sutherland has called on today's youth to overcome voter apathy and launch a revolutionary movement to help bring about social and political change.
The Hunger Games star, 79, reveals he was drawn to the film franchise, in which he plays the tyrannical leader of Panem, President Coriolanus Snow, because he wanted to help young film fans recognize the roles they have to play in real-life politics if they want to bring about a change in governments and world affairs.
Referencing the low 36.4 percent voter turnout in last week's (04Nov14) U.S. mid-term elections, he tells breakfast show Good Morning America, "I wanted to end my life being part of something that would maybe catalyze and maybe revolutionize young people because they have been so dormant. And you know, this election, it was the lowest voter representation in 72 years. Young people have to get up; you have to get up and change things, you really do, and it's up to you. "We've wrecked this world and if you're gonna fix it, you've got to do it now."
He adds, "If I can just see young people catalyze and go to the voting booth and have some kind of a revolutionary movement - not an armed revolutionary movement, but a revolutionary movement - that would change things up."
Sutherland's comments emerge two days after the London world premiere of the third installment of the movie series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, which features Jennifer Lawrence's heroine character Katniss Everdeen leading a rebellion to overthrow villainous Snow. The films are based on Suzanne Collins' bestselling The Hunger Games books.
Sutherland isn't the only celebrity demanding young people take action in politics - British comedian Russell Brand has been campaigning for a change to the way the U.K. is run and he recently penned a new book, titled Revolution, in which he detailed his social and political ideas. The Forgetting Sarah Marshall star also joined thousands of anti-capitalism protesters in London last week for the Million Mask March through Westminster to challenge "political oppression".
Jennifer Lawrence was so terrified of singing in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I that she cried the day filming was due to begin.
In the upcoming film of the action franchise, Lawrence's character Katniss sings an original song called The Hanging Tree, which was penned by the books' author Suzanne Collins, and the actress was so mortified about the prospect of singing live on the set that she wept ahead of the shoot.
Director Francis Lawrence tells Radiotimes.com, "She'd probably tell you it was her least favorite day... She was horrified to sing, she cried a little bit in the morning before she had to sing... But she did it and she did it all day - and she hated me for making her do it all day - but she did and it's great. She'll probably never really understand it because she's so sensitive about the singing. "(Folk band) The Lumineers sent the melody over and then we had a vocal coach, who sort of shifted the key for Jen's voice. Then she started working with Jen once or twice - Jen didn't really want to do too much of the training - but she recorded it for me as a test so I could hear it. I was worried, I really thought we were going to have to do a bunch of pitch shifting, but she sounded great. What you hear in the movie is what she did on the day in the quarry."
The film is due for release later this month (Nov14).
A theatre adaptation of hit movie franchise The Hunger Games will debut in London in 2016.
The successful teen action films, based on Suzanne Collins' novels, follow a group of teenagers, led by Jennifer Lawrence's character Katniss, who are forced to fight to the death to win an annual competition.
It will be transformed into an "innovative" production, which will be staged in a brand new purpose-built theatre next to Wembley Stadium in north London in summer 2016.
The project will be created by Tony award-winning Broadway producer Robin de Levita, who says, "I'm thrilled to be partnering with an innovative next generation studio like Lionsgate on a property that resonates so deeply with global audiences. The theatre is a fantastic medium to bring the many meaningful layers of Suzanne Collins' writing to life."
A spokesperson for Lionsgate, the studio behind the franchise, adds, "Robin de Levita and the entire production team are the perfect partners for extending The Hunger Games franchise into a live theatrical experience...Their creative genius, combined with world-class production values and state-of-the-art technology will provide a uniquely immersive experience for fans around the world."
The upcoming film installment The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I will be released this month (Nov14).
The franchise will conclude the following November (15).
Stephen King, John Grisham and James Patterson are among 900 of the world's most famous authors who have waded into an ongoing publishing dispute with bosses at book retailer Amazon. Hundreds of writers, also including blockbuster novelists Lee Child, Philip Pullman and Suzanne Collins, have signed an open letter informing readers about the row and urging Amazon to bring the dispute to an end.
In the letter, the group accuses Amazon executives of using "unusual tactics" in a bid to push through a deal with publishing house Hachette, alleging they have been boycotting the company's authors, refusing to apply discounts to their books and slowing delivery of works by Hachette's writers to customers.
The letter reads, "As writers - most of us not published by Hachette - we feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want. It is not right for Amazon to single out a group of authors, who are not involved in the dispute, for selective retaliation... Many of us have supported Amazon since it was a struggling start-up... We have made Amazon many millions of dollars and over the years... This is no way to treat a business partner. Nor is it the right way to treat your friends...
"We call on Amazon to resolve its dispute with Hachette without further hurting authors and without blocking or otherwise delaying the sale of books to its customers."
Hachette boasts some of the publishing industry's biggest names on its roster, including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer, the writer behind the Twilight franchise.
Lionsgate via Everett Collection
The Hunger Games stars including Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and Sam Claflin bid an emotional farewell to the franchise as filming on the final installment came to an end on Friday (20Jun14).
The cast of the blockbuster movie series shot their final scene for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 in Europe and producer Nina Jacobson photographed a group hug between castmembers Lawrence, Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as the foursome said their goodbyes.
Jacobson published the snap on Twitter.com and added, "That's a wrap. Thank you Suzanne Collins (author of the original book series) Thank you (director) Francis Lawrence. Thank you HG Fans. Other than that, I'm speechless."
Claflin, who joined the cast for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire last year (13), also took to the microblogging website to express his thanks to his co-stars and fans of the book-to-big screen franchise.
He wrote, "I just want/need to express my many thanks to everyone (cast, crew & fans) who have worked so hard for so long to make The Hunger Games experience what it is. "But for also trusting me enough to let me be part of it. I feel privileged, honoured and so very lucky to have shared this opportunity with so many passionate & talented people. #dreamjob"
The final book of Suzanne Collins' dystopian series, Mockingjay, has been split into two films, with the first premiering this November (14), and the fourth and final movie debuting in November, 2015.
Barry Manilow, Jane Fonda and Joan Collins were among the stars who turned out to celebrate music mogul Clive Davis' 82nd birthday at a lavish party in California. The music industry veteran turned 82 on Friday (04Apr14) and he celebrated the milestone by organising a glitzy bash at a Moroccan-themed mansion in Palm Springs over the weekend (05-06Apr14).
Guests included Manilow, Fonda and Collins, who published pictures from the party on her Twitter.com page.
Other attendees included actress Suzanne Somers and producer Richard Perry.
A source tells the New York Daily News, "It was like the last supper. Clive sat in the middle of the table with Jane (Fonda) and Suzanne (Somers) on his left and Barry (Manilow) and Joan (Collins) on his right."
The party also featured a performance by rising singer Avery Davis.
Actress Jennifer Lawrence has become the latest celebrity to pay tribute to tragic actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who passed away from an apparent drug overdose on Sunday (02Feb14). The 46 year old's body was found in his New York apartment after a friend grew concerned following failed attempts to contact the star.
At the time of his death, Hoffman was filming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 & 2 and now the franchise star is remembering her fallen castmate.
A statement from the actress, director Francis Lawrence and The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, reads, "Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now. Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking. Our deepest condolences go out to his family."
Bosses from Lionsgate Films, the production company behind the movie, and franchise star Sam Claflin have also issued statements.
Other tributes have come from Steve Martin, Ricky Gervais, Aaron Paul, Rose McGowan, Justin Timberlake, Minnie Driver, Octavia Spencer, Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham, Mia Farrow, Elijah Wood and Jim Carrey.
Actor Robert Knepper has joined the all-star cast of The Hunger Games franchise as a new character who is not in the popular books the films are based on. The former Prison Break star will play Antonius, the minister to Donald Sutherland's scheming leader, President Snow, for the upcoming third and fourth movies of the series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2.
The movies will be based on Suzanne Collins' final book in the bestselling series' trilogy, but the character is nowhere to be found in the novel.
Lionsgate bosses' have declined to comment on the development, and no other official information has been released.
Knepper will make his debut alongside fellow new cast members Julianne Moore, Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer, and Australian actress Stef Dawson, while Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and director Francis Lawrence all return for Mockingjay Part 1, due out next year (14).
Named one of the year's most influential people by TIME magazine
Made TV writing debut on episodes of Nickelodeon series "Clarissa Explains It All"
Completed trilogy with release of Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)
Wrote first book series, the five-part Underland Chronicles
Published second book, Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)
Wrote episodes of "The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo" (Nickelodeon)
Film writing debut, the animated holiday feature "Santa, Baby!"
Wrote first novel in futuristic trilogy, The Hunger Games inspired by reality TV programs and news footage of the Iraq War; book topped New York Times bestseller list
With director Gary Ross and Billy Ray, co-wrote feature adaptation of "The Hunger Games"; also executive produced film that starred Jennifer Lawrence as heroine Katniss Everdeen
Pitting children against children in a merciless game of survival on live television was the compelling plot behind Suzanne Collins' meteoric rise as an author. After launching her career writing for children's television programs, Collins mesmerized millions of readers all over the world with her groundbreaking sci-fi book trilogy <i>The Hunger Games</i> (2008), a gripping story of children forced to compete in an annual televised game. The novel is told through the eyes of its intrepid heroine, Katniss Everdeen, a skilled hunter who is desperate to make it out alive from the Games to save her family. Collins continued Katniss' story in the popular sequels <i>Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)</i> (2009) and <i>Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)</i> (2010). Aside from the critical praise she received for all three novels, their film versions were touted to be the most widely anticipated and biggest releases of all time. Production and casting of "The Hunger Games" (2012) ignited major Hollywood buzz and cemented Collins' place as one of the most successful and groundbreaking figures in contemporary literature.