By Caitlin Rickard
The premiere of the much-anticipated second movie in the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire, hit theaters Thursday night across the nation.
Summer Hicks, general manager at the Roxy Theater in Lebanon, said presale for tickets began in October, and as of Thursday afternoon had sold 300 tickets—before the premiere even took place that night.
“Ticket sales will continue to progress throughout the evening,” Hicks said. “Also, now we have all digital theaters so we can now show the movie on every screen.”
Hicks said this was important because they would be able to open up as many theaters as they had, which is 10, were ticket sales to continue to rise.
“We can take up to 2,000 people,” Hicks said. “If people keep buying tickets, we’ll continue to open up theaters.”
Hicks also said, from what she can tell, the second installment in the Hunger Games franchise is “definitely more popular than the first Hunger Games.”
Hicks also said this would be their first blockbuster of the holiday season.
“Ticket sales are a little behind the Twilight franchise, but with the movie premiering right around Thanksgiving we’re looking to have a really strong 10 days,” Hicks said.
On Thursday, Roxy Theater held a double feature beginning at 5 p.m. for fans to catching the first Hunger Games followed by Catching Fire at 8 p.m., back-to-back.
Tickets for the double feature were $14.50 for adults, with Catching Fire tickets only costing $9.50.
“Anything like this that comes in like a trilogy format we like to show the previous film that was released for fans to catch up and really get to experience it on the big screen again,” Hicks said.
According to Hicks, they would do the same thing when the next Hobbit film comes out in December.
In the past, big blockbusters like Harry Potter or Twilight have opened to midnight premieres, but Hicks said that wouldn’t be the case for Catching Fire.
“A lot of the reason is with The Hunger Games, it’s more for young adults, so it’s harder for that age and parents to come out at midnight,” Hicks said. “It’s also more enjoyable to just come to a premiere at 8 p.m. and it’s a lot easier on the theater and a lot safer.”
Seating for fans looking to see Catching Fire began an hour before the premiere at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Hicks said she didn’t anticipate for many people to be dressed up in Hunger Games costumes, but they usually see costumes for movies like Star Wars and Marvel’s The Avengers.
“The whole experience of just being surrounded by other people who are excited to see the film too is half the reason for coming to a movie or a big premiere like this,” Hicks said.
Hicks said she prescreened Catching Fire, and she was excited for fans to see the newest installment.
“It was really good. It had a lot of emotion,” Hicks said. “It portrays the book really well; I think fans are really going to like it.”
The Stardust Drive-In in Watertown also featured Catching Fire in a midnight showing.