CANNES - Lionsgate tried to bring a taste of the "Hunger Games" to Cannes Saturday night with a Capitol City party on the Croisette in honor of the upcoming sequel "Catching Fire." After grossing $400 million in the U.S. you might wonder why the studio would shell out big bucks to trek stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and new cast member Sam Clafin to the south of France for one day of red carpets and a swank beachfront party. This wasn't about America, though, this was about the world.
"Hunger Games" "only" grossed $283 million overseas which had to be at least puzzling to Lionsgate and their international partners considering the tremendous U.S. bounty. For comparison's sake, the first "Twilight" made slight more internationally and the first sequel, "New Moon," significantly outdid domestic with $413 million. Considering the hype of "Hunger Games" globally was on the level of "New Moon" you can see why Lionsgate doesn't want to leave anything to chance for "Catching Fire's" November rollout. The "Twilight" franchise (released by Lionsgate acquisition Summit Entertainment) proved that the increasing international grosses were the key to big returns. Hence, the big show and tell in Cannes.
The most important part of the evening wasn't the party, however, but the dinner right beforehand. No press were on hand, it was just all the international distributors being wined and dined by Lionsgate execs alongside J-La and Liam. It's a great way to motivate both the distributors and the stars to put the global work they need to do top of mind. (Hopefully).
This party itself was a quintessentially more American dominated event than most during this festival. Still, the only other real celebrities in attendance were moguls like CBS topper Leslie Moonves and directors J.C. Chandor (here with "All Is Lost" starring Robert Redford) and Paul Haggis. If this was Sundance, Toronto or Hollywood you would have had many more recognizable names making their way into the event.
Lawrence, Hemsworth and Clafin spent probably 20 minutes sitting in the VIP area for the event, but that gets old when a mass of people just have their phones in their air trying to take photos of you from a distance. And soon, they were gone.
We did learn? Well, Hemsworth is very, very tall and likes to smoke. Lawrence is as bubbly and charismatic as ever. Oh, and the champagne and treats certainly beat dealing with the pouring rain.
For more of the lovely "Catching Fire" trio check out the embedded gallery from their Cannes photo call below.
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