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'Hunger Games' draws crowds of fervent fans

November 20, 2013

Hundreds of eager fans gathered at the NCG Eastwood Cinemas on Wednesday evening for a special advanced screening of the second part of the Hunger Games film series, ‘Catching Fire.’

The advanced screening was brought to East Lansing through a voting poll done on catchingfirecolleges.com, which received an overwhelming amount of votes from students at MSU in a nationwide competition.

The film officially opens in theaters Thursday night.

The installment has drawn tremendous national and international attention in the weeks and months leading up to its release.

“With this one, we had so many votes for it that we really couldn’t find any spot on campus to get over 200 people to be able to see the movie,” MSU student ambassador for Cross Cultural Marketing Group representative Greg Waddell said.

On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of students lined up at Brody Square for a chance at snagging tickets.

The tickets were gone in less than 10 minutes, and hundreds were turned away.

Usually, the University Activities Board premieres movie screenings in Wells Hall for other smaller events.

But the major hype for Catching Fire came from the huge fan base at MSU, Waddell said.

“Everyone from the university kind of banded together and really worked really hard just by voting every day,” Waddell said.

Special education senior Katie Vondette said her friend waited in line yesterday for three hours to get her group of friends tickets to the show.

“I think it’s really cool to see how they changed the book into a movie and just to see what they keep and what they take,” Vondette said.

The film’s popularity brought with it an increased security risk for producers involved with the movie.

Lionsgate Studios hired a team of special security for the film to prevent potential piracy and footage from being leaked out at the theater.

Cell phones were placed in manila envelopes upon entrance into the theater and were available for pickup afterward.

“(We had) three people inside making sure that if they did sneak anything past us … we’ll catch them in there through night vision supervision,” security representative Will Heffernan said.

Other popular screenings for novels that were conceptualized into movies, such as the Twilight Saga, didn’t boast quite a comparison to the Catching Fire premiere.

However, the March 2012 premiere of the first installment in the Hunger Games series drew large crowds in the hours leading up to the showing at NCG.

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