Lionsgate is employing the time-honored American tradition of insisting that blockbuster movie franchises literally last forever, burdeningThe Hunger Games with delivering an apparently endless amount of prequels. Michael Burns, Lionsgate’s Vice Chairman, was quoted by Variety as confirming that the Hunger Games franchise "will live on and on" during the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York on Tuesday.
"If we went backwards there obviously would be arenas," Burns added, noting that the last two Hunger Games entries did not include arena-based competitions (to the well-voiced chagrin of fans). "Whatever extensions of The Hunger Games brand we pursue, the intent is not to glorify violence by arbitrarily telling arena stories," Burns insisted, "but to continue Suzanne Collins’s exploration of the concepts of just war theory." The most recent Hunger Games, Mockingjay — Part Two, beat both Creed and Pixar's The Good Dinosaur at the box office in November despite landing the lowest opening weekend numbers in the franchise's history.
Burns' comments, which haven't been followed by an official statement from Lionsgate (yet), echo the recent moves of Vin Diesel and Universal regarding the very busy future of the Fast and Furious franchise. After Diesel teased a goodbye trilogy of increasingly fast and steadily furious sequels, Universal took that expansion to another level by confirming that all involved parties are "in conversations" about a variety of spin-offs. If both properties secure their desired fate, then Mother Earth will never again have to go longer than three years without another Fast and Furious and/or The Hunger Games. It's a Festivus miracle.