Of course, that was a deliberate creative maneuver on Ross’ part – and one which he had already indicated would not be repeated in Catching Fire, since it wouldn’t enhance the story on an artistic level. But since he’s no longer involved with the sequel, it’s a moot point. Moving on…
THR has confirmed the decision by Lionsgate/Summit, which was surely inspired by the success of last year’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – and the surefire box office returns for next month’s The Dark Knight Rises, both of which were shot using IMAX cameras (more than an hour’s worth, with TDKR).
One of the big issues for movie geeks this year is the “3D or IMAX?” debate – and so far, IMAX seems to be winning, judging by how the box office returns for films like Hunger Games, The Avengers, and Men in Black III have been cushioned by high-attendance from IMAX screenings (in some cases with the “added benefit” of 3D). Even viewing experiences that do not stand to gain a whole lot from the massive scale (such as the currently-playing Dark Shadows, this week’s Rock of Ages, and the upcoming Frankenweenie) are all being (or have been) released in IMAX – hoping to take advantage of film patrons who feel the price upgrade really pays off.
Does shooting Catching Fire in IMAX make sense, from an artistic perspective? Suzanne Collins’ novel does focus a fair amount on world-building, as it reveals the numerous districts of Panem. Furthermore, our hero Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) comes to appreciate the daunting impact which she and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) have had; their act of rebellion in the Hunger Games arena incited rebellion around the nation (and causes the Capitol to tighten its grip on the populace). That’s all to say: on a thematic level, Catching Fire is a big story – and needs to properly set the stage for all-out warfare in the final chapter, Mockingjay – so IMAX seems like the way to go.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will open in regular and IMAX theaters around the U.S. on November 22nd, 2013.