Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

March 23, 2012

WEB ONLY REPORT: Crowd greets 'The Hunger Games' in Glasgow

By Abby Ponder
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Unless you have previously attended a midnight showing, it’s hard to truly explain what to expect. Each one is different in its own way – the fans and source material differ, after all – but at their core, they all hold the same distinct similarities.

First and foremost, there is a lot of waiting involved. A lot. The most dedicated of fans will be in line when the doors open, while the rest will gradually trickle in, all eagerly awaiting the first stroke of midnight.

Midnight premieres present the perfect opportunity for fans of a variety of ages and backgrounds to come together and share something that they all have in common; something that they have been anticipating for months, for years. Whether you’ve read the books or not, are a new fan or an old, the excitement is palpable.

While waiting in line can be quite the experience, it isn’t until you’re finally in the theater that things really begin to get heated. Popcorn is tossed from seat to seat (or from hand to hair) and the crowd screams as the screen finally brightens. …

Only to sigh dejectedly as a Coca-Cola commercial appears instead.

But the excitement picks back up as the remaining previews air, fans cheering for the movies they want to see the most, booing when they see something they don’t particularly love. (The reaction to the Breaking Dawn teaser? Quite possibly the funniest thing I have seen.) Throughout the movie, though, fans unite in a flurry of emotions. They sob together, laugh together, and cheer together.

According to the manager of Highland Cinemas, Brock Edwards, the Hunger Games premiere is almost on par with the Harry Potter showings. As of 4 p.m. on March 22, they had already sold, “at least 450 tickets and are expecting to have more ticket sales at the door.” Edwards also predicted that the remainder of the weekend would be just as successful due to strong word of mouth surrounding the movie and WuHu’s contributions on the night of the premiere.

And it’s true; The Hunger Games has spread like wildfire.

For those who have been living under a rock for the last few months, The Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. The books tell the story of Katniss Everdeen, a girl living in a post-apocalyptic world who is selected to compete in a televised game. A game that forces twenty-four children between the ages of twelve and eighteen to fight to the death as a punishment for an uprising that occurred seventy-four years prior.

The country of Panem – the setting of the novel and former North America – was divided into thirteen districts. The districts were essentially colonies, providing the resources to keep The Capitol as lavish as possible. So while those residing in The Capitol live the life of luxury, the surrounding districts live in poverty, barely surviving, as they’re forced to sacrifice two children each year as a form of entertainment for The Capitol.

Josh Doyle, an eighth grader at Barren County Middle School, said that he was most interested in “seeing the portrayal of The Capitol” – from their vibrant colors to their rather eccentric fashion choices. (Really, eccentric seems to be a bit of an understatement if you’ve seen the trailers.) And the film really makes it a priority to examine the way these people live. Living a life where watching children fight to the death is not only accepted, but also a form of entertainment.

As the movie ended and the audience rose to their feet, applause filled the air. At three o’clock in the morning, it didn’t matter how tired they were or the fact that in just a few short hours it would be time for work, for school, it was almost unanimous that they would not have traded the experience for the world. A time to bond with friends and fellow fans in a movie that managed to live up to the hype that had preceded it.

As we enter the opening weekend of the film, apparently The Capitol was right about one thing: the world really will be watching.