So my first thought watching this bare-bones teaser trailer for the Hunger Games was “I guess this means something to the book fans.” Premiering the teaser during the VMAs and including nothing but a brief glimpse of Jennifer Lawrence running through the woods while fire happens and a few lines about strength are heard in voice over suggest that Lionsgate is perfectly happy using their first big ad opportunity to tweak the fanbase and ignore everyone else. My second thought was, “well yeah, no shit.”
The Hunger Games has sat on the NY Time best-seller list long enough and sold enough books (especially ebooks where the novel has really shined, being among the first to sell +1m copies to Kindle users), that you can do this sort of thing and expect the rest of the masses to bang out a Wiki search to see whats up. You’re not going to bring anyone into the fold with an announcement teaser regardless, so why not pander? It’s a lazy decision, but it’s not one easily picked apart from one’s business armchair.
The thing is, footage-wise we’re left only with a brief scene that caters to fans that will understand the implications of the voice over and will get aroused by the sight of Jennifer Lawrence popping off a bow-shot, but all things being equal none of that footage looks particularly good. Already as an outsider I’m beginning to wonder if this is little more than another Twilight scenario where cheap, uninspired pantomimes of what fans recognize will be enough to drive ticket sales.
But that’s as far as I’m willing to go with maybe a baker’s dozen shots of whip-panning woods. Hell, they may not have planned to have a teaser for a while and simply decided to throw one together for the VMAs. I’m concerned, but I’ll wait to see more. Not having read the books would typically shove this off my radar entirely without some great footage, but it seems regardless of brilliant or terrible execution this movie will be omnipresent for the next 7 months till its March 23rd, 2012 release.
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