The Hunger Games premiered in 2012 to a wide commercial success, jumpstarting what would become the next big young adult novel franchise to hit the big screen. Following in the footsteps of Harry Potter and Twilight, there were many other Hunger Games installments, such as Catching Fire, Mockingjay – Part 1, and Mockingjay – Part 2. Collectively, the films grossed nearly $3 billion, and turned Jennifer Lawrence into an A-List movie superstar.
In hindsight, it is easy to think of The Hunger Games franchise as a big-budget enterprise that mirrors the likes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe. However, that was not always the case. As a matter of fact, the first Hunger Games film was made for $78 million, which is a relatively low amount when compared to other CGI-heavy action properties. After the success of the first installment, Catching Fire was budgeted at $130 million, a significant upgrade that is reflected in the film.
With that said, it comes as no surprise that there were many mistakes that were not caught by The Hunger Games production team before the release of each movie, particularly when it comes to the first installment. Instead, many of these mistakes can be spotted on the actual films, both as continuity errors and shot-by-shot inconsistencies. To be fair, there is not a single blockbuster franchise that did not commit certain mistakes along the way, and Hunger Games is no different.
These are the 20 Mistakes Fans Completely Missed In The Hunger Games Movies.
When being introduced to the general public in the Capitol, the tributes from each of the districts walk a massive, coliseum-style runway by the means of carriages and horses. In the first Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta sport a leather-looking apparel that lights up on fire, which Cinna very clearly explains that is not “real fire.” In any case, during that initial runway walk, the people from the Capitol throw things at the runway.
While it is mostly flowers, people are seeing throwing other things, such as hats and other pieces of clothing accessories.
However, when all of the tributes gather around at the end of that runway and in front of President Snow, The Hunger Games shows a wide shot of the runway behind them, which is missing anything on the floor. Where did all of those flowers go?
During The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Katniss gives an iconic speech about Cato taking Thresh’s life. However, while that piece of information is true according to the Hunger Games novels, it is not actually canon when it comes to the movies. As fans may remember, Thresh was attacked by mutts in the first Hunger Games film. Thus, Cato was not actually responsible for what happened to Thresh in the movies, despite that being the case in the books.
Surely, the Katniss speech delivered in Mockingjay – Part 2 was a slip in memory from the part of the writers and/or producers, who forgot hat Thresh had been subject to a different fate in the movies.
During the reaping scene in the first The Hunger Games, Effie reads Prim’s name from a piece of paper that she pulls out of a bowl. In typical award show style, the piece of paper is carefully folded and kept closed by a piece of tape. In this case, the piece of tape is black, which stands out from the white piece of paper. All of that would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that the black tape clearly changes positions from one shot to the next.
In the first shot, when Effie opens the piece of paper, the black tape appears on the left side.
In the next shot, when Effie reads “Primrose Everdeen,” the black tape appears on the right side of the paper.
One of the most memorable things about The Hunger Games is that the Games participants can hear a cannon sound whenever one of their fellow competitors has been eliminated. That is the case for every single person, no exceptions. Well, maybe there's one exception. As fans surely know, Marvel does not make it out of the Games in the first Hunger Games installment.
He is the only tribute in the movie that gets no cannon sound upon meeting his demise, for some odd reason.
This was certainly a huge mistake in the part of the movie, as the director and sound engineers seemingly did not notice the missing cannon sound for the character.
One of the most common continuity errors in the Hunger Games franchise has to do with Katniss’ hair suddenly moving or changing altogether from one shot to the next. It all started with the property’s first iconic scene: Katniss volunteering as a tribute in place of her sister, Prim.
In the scene, Katniss is first seen fighting off the Capitol guards, clearly getting her hair all messed up in the process. As a matter of fact, her hair is clearly all over her face as she puts up a fight. Then, immediately after, there is another shot of Katniss being held up by the guards and actually saying “I volunteer,” but her hair looks all neat, in place, and put together, as if she wasn’t just fighting off the guards a few seconds before.
During the training in the first Hunger Games installment, Peeta has a hard time showing off his skills. So much so that the movie shows a couple of tributes from other Districts laughing at him. First, we see Cato, Marvel, and Clove laughing at Peeta. It is important to note that Clove is a dark-haired girl. Then, on the very next shot, we see Cato, Marvel, and Glimmer laughing at Peeta instead. Glimmer has light blonde hair.
Everything could have been explained if Glimmer had joined Cato, Marvel, and Clove in the bullying.
Except, there is a wide shot of the tributes that concludes that scene, in which it becomes clear that Clove disappeared, and was literally replaced by Glimmer to laugh at Peeta.
In Catching Fire, Katniss is seen training by shooting arrows at holographic people. This is a cool display of the Capitol’s technology, and also a CGI-heavy scene that displays the increase in the budget that this franchise has seen from one movie to the next. With that said, there is one bewildering thing about that scene: if Katniss was shooting at holograms, those arrows would have eventually fallen on the floor, right? Maybe they would hit walls or other objects along the way, but those were physical arrows who would have landed somewhere in the real space surrounding Katniss.
That is not what happens. As the holograms are put on pause, no arrows can be found on the floor surrounding Katniss. This was surely a massive mistake from the production team.
Another very significant instance of Katniss’ hairstyle changes came during her first interview with Caesar, which took place in the original Hunger Games installment. This time, her hair actually switches back and forth between styles, which makes things even worse for the continuity of the movie. First, Katniss’ hair is seen all pulled back, which nothing hanging from the sides.
In the very next shot, there is clearly a curl going down on the side of her face.
This changes yet again later, as her hair once again appears all pulled back, then with curls on the side. While it is not surprising that the crew shot Katniss with two different hairstyles for that interview with Caesar, it is certainly a problem that they were not able to use the appropriately matching shots for the entire scene.
In the first Hunger Games, Katniss famously climbed a tree and tied herself to it with a rope. The Gamemakers gets annoyed that she is barely moving, and decides to start a fire inside the arena that forces her to get down from the tree and run. All of that is fine, except for the fact that a scared Katniss clearly unties herself from the rope quickly and leaves it behind, as she had no time to put the rope back on her bag.
Later in the movie, Katniss is seen using the exact same rope yet again. Given that these tools are very scarce inside the Games arena and that Katniss definitely left the rope behind while running from the fire, it is certainly odd that she was seen using it again later.
In the first Hunger Games, Buttercup is very clearly a black and white cat. However, in Catching Fire, Buttercup is suddenly seen with orange stripes along its extension, which were definitely not there before. When director Francis Lawrence took over the franchise with Catching Fire, a cat that more closely resembled the description of Buttercup from Suzanne Collins' novels. While that attention to the books' detail is satisfying, it is still distracting for fans of the movies.
In the universe of the movies, Buttercup suddenly changed completely.
There should have been some form of explanation as to why the cat suddenly had orange stripes rather than just being its usual black-and-white self.
Clove throws a knife at Katniss during the first Hunger Games, inflicting a wound right on her face that seems to be bleeding pretty heavily. Then, in the very next shots, the wound – and the blood – is already gone. How?
Just like the sudden hairstyle changes, this is yet another example of Hollywood trying to preserve the face of the star of a movie as much as possible, even going to the extent of ignoring a wound that was inflicted on her. The question is: why have the knife reach her face at all, then? Fans are left with this odd moment in which Katniss is seen getting clearly hurt, bleeding right on her face, and then being perfectly fine in the very next shot.
There is a scene in The Hunger Games in which Peeta is very close to mistakenly eating poisonous berries. This scene is important because it establishes Katniss and Peeta’s defiance act at the end of those Games, which involves attempting to poison themselves and leave the Capitol without a winner.
What is odd about that scene is that, after Katniss stops Peeta, she hugs him, and that hug is shown in two different ways.
First, Katniss embraces Peeta by putting her arms around his face. Then, in the very next shot, Katniss’ arms appear under Peeta’s arms instead. This seems to be another example of the production team trying out two different things and ending up using mismatched shots for the same scene.
Rue is a little girl from District 11 who ends up befriending Katniss and, in many ways, starting a revolution. Before the Games begin, the Tributes are given scores based on their chances of winning, which helps the Capitol citizens to place bets on each tribute and make money. As such, Rue is first given a 60-1 score in the “Morning Line Odds” scoreboard, meaning that she has 60 to one 1 chances of winning.
Later in the movie, there is a wide shot that shows the “Morning Line Odds” scoreboard yet again, and Rue is magically shown as having 7-1 winning chances. Despite the fact that these are quite impressive numbers for a girl who did not do anything impressive to earn them inside the Games, no further explanation is given as to why her chances of winning increased so dramatically all of a sudden.
Inside the arena in the original Hunger Games, Peeta infiltrates the team of "Careers," which consists mostly of tributes from Districts 1 and 2, as they try to find Katniss and take her down. Of course, we all know that Peeta is actually helping Katniss, as he is in love with her and thinks that she has an actual chance of winning the Games.
Why, for Panem’s sake, would Peeta help Cato and his friends find Katniss to take her down?
Why wouldn’t the Careers think the same thing? They certainly seem like smart kids who have been preparing for the Games their entire lives, and Peeta has announced to the entire world that he has feelings for Katniss.
As Katniss wakes up in Mockingjay – Part 1 after being rescued following the events of Catching Fire, Gale tells her that nothing is left of District 12. There is a lot of dramatic effect placed here to reinforce the fact that the entirety of District 12 is gone, that “nothing” is left.
As we see later, when Katniss visits District 12, that is not entirely true. For instance, the victor’s houses in District 12 are left pretty intact, with just a few dents made to their outside structures. Given that Katniss lived in one of those houses and was able to retrieve a lot of her family’s stuff – including Buttercup, the cat – from the place, it was certainly misleading and melodramatic for Gale to tell Katniss that “nothing” was left.
One of the most glaring and inexplainable mistakes in the Hunger Games franchise comes during Katniss’ hallucination in the franchise’s first installment. It all begins as Katniss cuts off a tracker jackers’ nest, which falls on the tributes who were trying to get her, but gets stung along the way herself. On TV, Caesar tells audiences that “tracker jackers are genetically-engineered wasps, whose venom causes searing pain and powerful hallucinations.”
As Katniss hallucinates, she sees Caesar inside the arena, saying pretty much the same thing he just told audiences on television.
While this makes sense for audiences watching the movie, it makes no sense for Katniss to hallucinate the exact lines that she never heard. After all, she is not watching the Games on TV.
At one point in The Hunger Games, it is established that the Cornucopia is surrounded by mines. Thus, tributes have to be careful when retrieving weapons from it, because every wrong step may lead to them being blown up to pieces.
However, this fact is often ignored during that very same movie. Many times, tributes are seen running to and from the Cornucopia, seemingly not worried at all about the mines placed around it. It seems like the original Hunger Games conveniently ignored the mines storyline whenever it was convenient for the film to show tributes running around the Cornucopia, but decided to bring up the mines whenever it served some purpose in the plot.
It is established several times during the Hunger Games franchise that the Capitol reaps two tributes from each District on a yearly basis: one girl and one boy.
As there are 12 Districts, the math adds up to 24 competitors in each of the Games.
With that said, there is a wide shot in the first Hunger Games installment that clearly shows only 20 platforms in the arena, which would mean that there were only 20 tributes participating in the Games. This is wrong, as there were certainly 24 participants in the field, and simply a glaring mistake that ended up in the final cut of The Hunger Games. There is no way to justify that four tributes did not have platforms to come out.
In Hunger Games: Catching Fire, President Snow’s health is shown deteriorating. This becomes very evident when he is drinking a glass of champagne and blood comes from his mouth, filling up the entire cup and turning golden liquid into bright red. However, in the very next shot, Snow’s glass is shown with a golden liquid once again, with all of the red gone.
This scene is very important to set up the fact that President Snow is very sick, or at least sicker than ever. As such, this glaring continuity mistake could confuse any attentive moviegoer who noticed the liquid in the cup going from gold to red, then from red to gold.
Katniss takes advantage of the mines surrounding the Cornucopia to scatter around the other tributes and limit the number of weapons and resources that were still available for grabs. As such, she shoots an arrow to drop a bag of fruits on the floor, which fall on a mine and blow up the whole thing. The weird thing is that, later in The Hunger Games, there are a few wide shots of the Cornucopia that show a perfectly pristine structure with green-as-ever grass surrounding it.
There are no traces that an explosion took place there not too long ago, as nothing is showed destroyed, moved, or burnt.
Once again, the Hunger Games franchise made deliberate choices of when to make audience members forget about the storylines that the movie established previously.
Did we miss any notable mistakes in The Hunger Games movies? Let us know in the comments!