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Climax of 'Hunger Games' trilogy to be split in two

FILES - A worker swaps out the billboard marking the opening of 'The Hunger Games" in this March 22, 2012 file photo at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. (AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT)

LOS ANGELES: The final installment of smash hit movie franchise "The Hunger Games," based on a trilogy by author Suzanne Collins, is to be split into two films, the film's makers have announced.

The decision to release the movies in November 2014 and 2015 -- targeting the lucrative Thanksgiving holiday in the United States -- follows a similar move by producers of the "Harry Potter" films.

"The Hunger Games," about children forced to fight for their lives in a Roman circus-style televised blood sport in a post-apocalyptic world, broke US box office records when it was released in March.

"Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the second installment, is due out on November 22, 2013, according to Lionsgate, a studio based in Santa Monica, California.

And in an online update this week, the production company said "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1" will be released on November 21, 2014, followed a year later by "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2" on November 20, 2015.

The last book in JK Rowling's record-breaking boy wizard story, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was made into two movies released in 2010 and 2011.

Some critics were disappointed with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I," saying it lacked action, while the last film, the climax of the seven-book, eight movie blockbuster, was widely praised.

The first "Hunger Games" movie made $152 million in its debut weekend in March, the biggest ever opening weekend for a non-sequel film, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

It has since been beaten by comic superhero flick "The Avengers," which made an estimated $200 million on its opening weekend in May.

 

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