Lionsgate’s movie adaptation of “The Hunger Games” does not arrive in theaters until March 23 — still too far away for analysts to predict ticket revenue. But if spiking sales of the books are any indication, Lionsgate’s marketing efforts are whipping up a five-alarm box-office fire.
About 9.6 million books in Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” trilogy were in circulation in the United States when Lionsgate started production on its adaptation of the first novelin the summer, according to figures from Scholastic, which published the works.
Tim Palen, the studio’s chief marketing officer, started adding kindling soon after, slowly doling out images of the characters — including Jennifer Lawrence as the young heroine, Katniss Everdeen — and sneak-peek film footage to MTV.By early November, after a heavy online marketing push, 16 million books from the trilogy were in print in the United States. The first full-length trailer made its debut on Nov. 18 (with “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1”), igniting Facebook and the blogosphere. There are now 23.5 million books in print in the domestic market.
And that is before Scholastic releases the well-reviewed trilogy in special movie tie-in editions, books that are expected to go on sale Feb. 7. Tracy van Straaten, a spokeswoman for Scholastic, said Lionsgate’s marketing was only partly responsible, attributing the steep rise to “holiday gift-giving, word of mouth and advance buzz for the film.”
Mr. Palen said in a statement: “I’m thrilled book sales continue to rise as our campaign rolls out. Knowing that the materials and publicity surrounding the movie have inspired people to read the books is very encouraging.”
“The Hunger Games” takes place in a postapocalyptic world where the government televises an annual fight to the death between a teenage boy and girl. Advance tickets go on sale Feb. 22.
Source: NY Times