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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

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Genre  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Language  English
8/10 IMDb

Director  Francis Lawrence
Country  United States
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 movie poster
Release date  November 20, 2015 (2015-11-20)
Based on  Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Writer  Peter Craig (screenplay), Danny Strong (screenplay), Suzanne Collins (adaptation)
Tagline  The fire will burn forever.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is a 2015 American dystopian science fiction adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence, with a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong. It is the fourth and final installment in The Hunger Games film series, and the second of two films based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins. Produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik, and distributed by Lionsgate, the film features an ensemble cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman (in his final film role), and Donald Sutherland. Principal photography on both parts of the film began on September 23, 2013 in Atlanta, before moving to Paris for two weeks of back-to-back filming and officially concluding on June 20, 2014, in Berlin and at Babelsberg Studios, Germany.

Contents

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 t2gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcQg60LVaPPGhlOYLA

The story continues from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), as she prepares to win the war against President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the tyrannical Capitol. Together with Peeta, Gale, Finnick, and others, she travels to the Capitol to kill Snow. However, President Coin (Julianne Moore), the leader of District 13 and the rebellion, hides a bigger agenda that could not only jeopardize Katniss' life, but the future of Panem.

Mockingjay – Part 2 was released on November 20, 2015 in the United States, in 2D and IMAX, and internationally in 2D, 3D, RealD Cinema, and IMAX 3D in select territories; it's the only film in the series widely released in 3D. Falling below expectations internationally and domestically with a $102.7 million gross during its opening weekend in North America, the film had the sixth-biggest opening in 2015, but held at number one at the international box-office for four consecutive weekends. The film grossed over $653 million worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing of the four films in the franchise, but still a commercial success.

Part 2 was positively received by critics for its performances, screenplay, and action sequences, though it was criticized for splitting the final adaptation into two separate parts. The film had garnered a nomination for Best Fantasy Film at the 42nd Saturn Awards. For her part, Lawrence was awarded as the Favorite Movie Actress at the 2016 Kids' Choice Awards and Best Hero at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards.

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Plot

Katniss Everdeen is recovering after being attacked by Peeta Mellark, who has been brainwashed by the Capitol. Despite Katniss's desire to kill President Snow, Alma Coin refuses to allow her into battle, as she is too valuable to risk losing. However, Katniss volunteers to be sent to District 2, the only district still controlled by the Capitol. District 13's Air Force launches a full-scale bombing on a mountain nicknamed The Nut, that houses the Capitol's main weaponry and air force, with few survivors. Although Katniss manages to convince the district to join the rebellion, she is shot by one of the survivors in an assassination attempt, who is then shot and killed, but is saved by her bulletproof Mockingjay costume, effectively causing the remaining loyalists to turn on their own soldiers.

At Finnick Odair and Annie Cresta's wedding, Johanna Mason suggests Katniss sneak aboard a supply aircraft leaving for the Capitol. Unable to bring her back, Coin has her assigned to the "Star Squad", that is led by Boggs and includes Gale, Finnick, Cressida and her crew, and other soldiers. They will follow in relative safety behind the actual invasion of the Capitol providing video of their incursion for propaganda purposes. Boggs carries a holographic map (the "Holo") to help them evade known booby trapped "pods" that line the streets of the Capitol. Coin later sends Peeta to join the squad, even though he has not fully recovered from the Capitol's conditioning.

As they venture deeper into the Capitol, Boggs triggers a land mine and is fatally wounded; he gives the Holo to Katniss before dying. The squad triggers another pod that releases a flood of lethal black oil. Peeta momentarily succumbs to his conditioning and attacks Katniss, killing Private Mitchell in the process. The group takes shelter in an abandoned building, where Jackson, the second-in-command, attempts to commandeer the Holo, despite the crew's disapproval, until Katniss says that she is under secret orders from Coin to kill Snow, and Jackson relents. Katniss and most of the group escape just before a squad of Peacekeepers arrive and destroy the building. The Capitol broadcasts a message announcing Katniss's death, that is interrupted by Coin, who delivers an impassioned eulogy for her to rally the rebels.

Castor, one of the cameramen, suggests they go through the Capitol's sewers to avoid further pods, having his mute brother Pollux show them the way down. However, they are seen on the security cameras by Snow, and the Capitol immediately enables a pod in the sewers, causing genetically engineered creatures called "mutts" to attack the group. Jackson, Castor, and Private Homes are killed as the squad flees through the sewers. Finnick fights off the mutts with his trident and pocket-knife to allow the rest of the team to escape, but they overwhelm him, forcing Katniss to set the Holo's self-destruct, killing him and the remaining mutts. While running from pursuing Peacekeepers, Messalla, another cameraman, is melted by a pod. The surviving team members (Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Cressida and Pollux) reach the surface and take refuge in a shop, where Tigris, a former Hunger Games stylist and rebel sympathizer, hides them in her basement.

As rebel forces gain ground, Snow invites fleeing Capitol citizens into his mansion for protection. Katniss and Gale join the crowd, posing as refugees. As rebels arrive and attack, Peacekeepers capture Gale and herd Capitol children toward the palace gates. A hovercraft with Capitol markings flies overhead and drops small parcels into the crowd. The parcels explode, killing and injuring many people. A team of rebel medics attempt to help the injured, including Katniss's sister Prim. As Katniss rushes forward, a second wave of bombs detonate, killing Prim and knocking Katniss unconscious.

Upon recovering, Katniss learns the Capitol has been conquered and Snow captured. When Katniss confronts Snow in his rose garden, he explains that Coin orchestrated the bombing using a Capitol hovercraft to make it look like he would kill their children and to turn his soldiers against him. Katniss tells Snow that she doesn't believe him, but he reminds her that they promised not to lie to each other. She realizes that the incident resembles a trap that Gale had developed earlier, bombing an area, then again later to kill medics along with any survivors of the first bombing. When Gale doesn't deny that it may have been based on his idea, Katniss becomes heartbroken and cuts all ties with him. Coin declares herself as the interim President of Panem and invites the remaining Hunger Games victors to vote on a proposal to have another Hunger Games that would exempt the districts from sending tributes and only target Capitol children, who, thanks to Snow, had always been exempt from the Games. Coin also informs them that high-ranking Capitol officials (torturers, Peacekeepers, etc.) also await being publicly executed. Peeta, Beetee and Annie disagree with the idea, while Johanna and Enobaria (the sixth Quarter Quell survivor) agree. Katniss votes yes in exchange for the right to publicly execute Snow and to avenge her sister's death. Haymitch considers the situation then swings the vote in favor.

Before Katniss can shoot Snow at the execution, he flashes her one last look to remember who her real enemy is. Katniss silently agrees, and instead of killing Snow, she raises her bow and shoots Coin in the heart, killing her, as Snow sadistically laughs at Katniss' expense. The rebels, who were unaware of Coin's actions and intentions, are shocked and angry at the Mockingjay's doing. They immediately arrest and imprison Katniss while simultaneously assault and publicly beat Snow to death. Initially facing charges of high treason, Katniss, now being held captive, receives a letter from Plutarch Heavensbee on her actions and is assured that she will eventually be pardoned by the newly appointed President of Panem for her crime and will be able to return to District 12 once the dissension quiets. At District 12 she is joined by Peeta, who has recovered from his condition. Commander Paylor of District 8 is elected the new President of Panem, and Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch bond over their shared trauma. Years later, Paylor has permanently forbidden the Games, and while Katniss and Peeta play with their two children in the Meadow, Katniss realizes she made the right choice. She contemplates the events of the series, promising her children that one day she will tell them what happened, eventually stating that "there are much worse games to play".

Pre-production

On July 10, 2012, Lionsgate announced that the film adaptation of Mockingjay would be split into two parts; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, released on November 21, 2014, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, released November 20, 2015. On November 1, 2012, Francis Lawrence, director of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, announced that he would return to direct both final films in the series. Talking about direction for last two parts Francis explains, "I felt a different kind of pressure," he explains. "[On 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'], I had to prove myself a little bit as the new guy in the game. It was a relief that it was received well by the fans. Even though I was relieved, it was only momentary; it sort of set the bar higher for the next one!."

On December 6, 2012, Danny Strong announced that he would write the third and fourth films. On February 15, 2013, Lionsgate approved the script for Part 1 and gave Strong permission to write that of Part 2. In August, Hemsworth confirmed that shooting of the film would begin the following month.

The film's production began on September 16, 2013, in Boston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Studio Babelsberg co-produced and oversaw production services for the film. On November 13, 2013, producer Nina Jacobson revealed that Peter Craig was also hired to write the adaptations. The film carried a production budget of $160 million with a further $55 million spent on promotion and advertisements, and $13.9 million in television advertisements.

Casting

All the principal cast such as Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, Donald Sutherland as President Snow, Elizabeth Banks as Effie, Willow Shields as Prim, Paula Malcomson as Mrs Everdeen and Stanley Tucci as Caesar, return to reprise their roles. Julianne Moore also returned to reprise her role as President Alma Coin, along with Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died during the filming in February 2014, as Plutarch. He had nearly completed his scenes, and his two remaining scenes were rewritten to compensate for his absence. Regarding Hoffman's scenes, Lawrence commented that, "He had two substantial scenes left and the rest were appearances in other scenes. We had no intention of trying to fake a performance, so we rewrote those scenes to give to other actors… The rest, we just didn’t have him appear in those scenes. There’s no digital manipulation or CG fabrication of any kind." One of the changed scenes saw the character of Plutarch sending Katniss a letter in prison, read by Haymitch, rather than coming himself to talk to her after her arrest for assassinating President Coin, explained as him being unable to see her for political reasons after her actions, which he nonetheless supports.

On August 26, 2013, it was announced that actress Stef Dawson had joined the cast to portray Annie Cresta. Lionsgate announced on September 13, 2013, that Julianne Moore joined the cast to play President Alma Coin. The same month, Lily Rabe, Patina Miller, Mahershala Ali, Wes Chatham, and Elden Henson were announced to have joined the cast. to reprise their roles of Commander Lyme, Commander Paylor, Boggs, Castor and Pollux respectively. During this time, there was also a casting call for extras. Rabe subsequently had to leave the film due to a scheduling conflict with the 2014 Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing. On April 4, 2014, it was announced that she would be replaced by Gwendoline Christie to portray Lyme.

Filming

Principal photography began on September 23, 2013, in Atlanta, and concluded on June 20, 2014, in Berlin, Germany; the two parts were filmed back-to-back. In October 2013, filming took place in Rockmart, Georgia. After the cast and crew took a break to promote The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, filming resumed on December 2, 2013. On December 14, 2013, shooting was held at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. On December 18, shooting began at Caldwell Tanks in Newnan, Georgia.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Plutarch Heavensbee, died on February 2, 2014. He had completed filming his scenes for Part 1 and had a week left of shooting for Part 2; Lionsgate thereafter released a statement affirming that since the majority of Hoffman's scenes had been completed, the release date for Part 2 would not be affected. It was initially announced that Hoffman would be digitally recreated for a major scene involving his character that had not been shot, but Francis Lawrence later stated that he had rewritten Hoffman's two remaining scenes to compensate for the actor's absence, and there would be "no digital manipulation or CG fabrication of any kind". In a scene near the end of the film which was to have shown Plutarch speaking with Katniss in detention, Woody Harrelson's character instead reads her a letter from him.

Filming in Atlanta completed in mid April 2014, and production moved to Europe. On May 9, filming took place in Noisy le Grand, Paris. It is the same location where Brazil (1985) was filmed 30 years earlier. Toward the end of May, the cast and crew shot scenes at several locations in Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany. In Rüdersdorf, Brandenburg, the crew shot scenes for the portrayal of District 8 in an old cement factory. Hemsworth was injured on the set and was brought to a doctor in the Berlin borough Mitte. Scenes for District 2 were shot at Berlin Tempelhof Airport. A German casting agency sought 1,000 ethnically diverse extras (African, Asian, Southern-European, and Turkish) and "lived faces" to shoot scenes at the Babelsberg Film Studio.

Score

The film score was released on December 4, 2015. James Newton Howard returned to compose the film score; unlike the previous films in the series, there is no additional pop companion album with songs inspired by the film. Jennifer Lawrence performed "Deep in the Meadow", a lullaby that she sang in the first film.

Marketing

Along with the film's first teaser poster, Lionsgate released a teaser trailer on March 18, 2015, titled The Hunger Games Franchise Logo — Remember, featuring the transformation of the Mockingjay, along with notable quotes from the previous three movies, as well as a quote from the new film. The teaser was also played at screenings of Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Insurgent. Scott Mendelson of Forbes noted the similarity of the teaser with that of The Dark Knight's (2008) teaser, which also features just an animated logo of the film and select dialogue. On June 1, a new teaser poster for the film, featuring a vandalised statue of President Snow, was revealed on the viral site TheCapitol.PN. On June 9, the teaser trailer for the film was released. A series of different posters, featuring the main cast with red Mockingjays painted on their faces, was released in July by Lionsgate.

Later in July 2015, Lionsgate released a motion and teaser poster and propaganda video, followed by the film's official trailer. In August, a poster was released stating "100 days until The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2". However, it was taken down shortly thereafter, as the text on the poster appeared to resemble a swear word due to layout. However, another "bold and beautiful" poster was released depicting Katniss standing on the shoulder of a fallen President Snow statue.

In October 2015, the first official clip and the final trailer were released, followed by the film's theatrical posters. In October, fan sites revealed the first two TV spots.

"The Mockingjay App" was revealed on October 20.

In certain parts of Israel, the poster which depicted the image of Katniss (Lawrence) aiming her bow and arrow was removed over concerns her image would offend ultra-conservative Jewish audiences. Instead, a fiery mockingjay in the poster's background replaced Lawrence in marketing materials in multiple locations in Israel including Bnei Brak and West Jerusalem. Lionsgate did not comment on the Israeli marketing campaign. In Jerusalem, public posters with the image of a female are often torn down, while Bnei Brak does not allow posters with female images.

Release

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 premiered in Los Angeles, at the L.A. Live, complex on November 16, and in New York City on November 18. It premiered internationally in Berlin on November 4, in London November 5, in Paris November 9, in Madrid November 10, and in Beijing November 12. Due to the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, Lionsgate scaled down its L.A. premiere, cancelling press interviews on the red carpet (which was scheduled to last two hours). The stars mostly greeted fans and took a few photos before heading into the screening in Downtown Los Angeles. Mockingjay – Part 2 was released on November 20, 2015 in the United States and Canada. The film was originally scheduled to be released in 2D, Digital 3D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D, which would have made it the only film of the series to be globally released in 3D formats; the previous film was released in 3D in China. It is the third film in the franchise to be released in IMAX, following the first and the second film with the exception of the third film. However, the decision to release the film in 3D and IMAX 3D in North America was revoked. Director Francis Lawrence discussed the decision, stating, "I love the 3D format and I know that Mockingjay Part 2 will play perfectly in 3D and 2D internationally – but I'm pleased that we're maintaining the 2D only (and IMAX) formats domestically. It is the best of all worlds!". It was nevertheless released in 3D formats in overseas markets, including China. The film was also released in the Dolby Vision format in Dolby Cinemas, which is the first ever for Lionsgate.

Internationally, it was released day-and-date across 87 countries, starting from November 18, in certain markets like Belgium, Brazil, France and the Netherlands and on November 19 in Australia, Germany, Russia, Italy, and the United Kingdom, followed by China, Mexico, Japan, the United States, Canada, and 19 other markets, on November 20, as part of the biggest movie rollout ever by Lionsgate. The only big territories where the film did not open on the same weekend are Spain, Greece and India, which released the movie on November 27.

Home media

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 was released on Digital HD on March 8, 2016, and was followed by a Blu-ray and DVD release on March 22, 2016. It topped the home video sales chart for the week ending on March 27, 2016.

Box office

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 fell short of expectations at the box office. It grossed a total of $281.7 million in the USA & Canada and $371.7 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $653.4 million. Its worldwide opening of $247.2 million is the twenty-seventh biggest of all time. It is the lowest-grossing film in The Hunger Games film series, and the ninth highest-grossing film of 2015, Lionsgate's co-chairman Rob Friedman blamed the impact of the November 2015 Paris attacks as well as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens for the film's underwhelming performance in certain European countries and in the U.S. and Canada, further blaming the latter for cutting the film's North American gross by as much as $50–100 million. However, according to Deadline.com, this is untrue given how Mockingjay – Part 2 had the lowest opening among the series and was already grossing behind Mockingjay – Part 1 by $32.7 million or 12% before The Force Awakens even opened. Thus, the November attacks in Paris did not noticeably affect the European release of Mockingjay — Part 2. And notably in China (where the film grossed a dismal $21.5 million), the studio blamed The Martian and Spectre for the film's underperformance there after facing competition with the two films along with Taiwanese film Our Times. Deadline.com calculated the net profit of the film to be $134.3 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film.

North America

In North America, according to pre-release trackings, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 was initially projected to earn around $120–125 million in its opening weekend. However, estimates decreased to a mid-$110 million range once the film approached its opening day. It made $16 million from its Thursday night preview which is the lowest among the franchise but the third biggest of 2015, and $45.5 million on its opening day. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $102.7 million, finishing first at the box office but fell below expectations and becoming the lowest opening among the franchise. Sources attributed to the franchise low opening to heavy winter weather hitting areas such as South Dakota, Michigan, and Chicago as well as Lionsgate's decision to split the last novel into two separate pictures. Still, it is the fourth film in the Hunger Games film series to open with more than $100 million, and is 2015's sixth-biggest opening, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Furious 7 and Minions. IMAX comprised $8.5 million of the opening gross from 384 IMAX locations. The low opening of the film led to the decline of Lionsgate stock the day after its opening weekend. The film retained the top spot at the box office in the second weekend, declining 49.3% and grossing $52 million. It topped the box office for the third consecutive weekend despite facing competition with the animated movie The Good Dinosaur and the horror comedy Krampus in its second and third weekend respectively. In total, it held the No. 1 spot in the North American box office for four consecutive weekends (even after facing competition with In the Heart of the Sea in its fourth weekend), becoming the first film since Furious 7 to top the box office for four straight weekends and the second film in The Hunger Games film series after 2012's The Hunger Games to achieve this feat. Mockingjay – Part 2 grossed a total of $281 million, 17% less than Mockingjay – Part 1 and when compared with its two other prequels is the lowest.

Outside North America

Outside North America, the film was released in a total of 92 countries. It was projected by many box office analysts to surpass the openings of all the previous Hunger Games film, considering it was the last installment, and that its release date was the same in 87 markets, including China (the latter being a rare phenomenon). It was projected to gross around $165–185 million. However, it ended up earning $144.5 million across 32,500 screens from 87 markets opening at No. 1 in 81 of them. The underperformance was attributed to the 2015 Paris terror attacks which affected many parts of Europe and the rising value of the U.S. dollar. Earning $62 million (down 57%) and $30.05 million (down 49%) in its second and third weekend, respectively, it topped the international box office for four consecutive weekends.

The United Kingdom posted the highest opening with $17.1 million followed by China with $15.8 million, Germany ($15 million), Mexico ($8.9 million) France ($7.1 million), Australia ($6.8 million), Brazil ($6.8 million), Russia ($6.7 million), Venezuela ($5.6 million) and Italy ($4.3 million). In China, it opened at No. 1 despite facing competition with Taiwanese film Our Times, and the continued run of Spectre and having an underperforming opening. It fell precipitously by 88.6% in its second weekend, which is the worst second weekend drop for any major Hollywood release in China of 2015. Notably in France, the opening was above expectations considering cinemagoers being affected by the Paris terror attacks and the heightened state of alert in Belgium at that time. It topped the United Kingdom and Ireland box office for four consecutive weekends which is a rare achievement and thereby becoming the first film since Les Misérables in 2013 to have four straight weeks of win at the UK box office. It is the highest-grossing film of 2015 in Colombia with $36 million. In terms of total earnings its largest markets are Germany ($43.7 million) and the United Kingdom ($43.1 million) and Colombia ($36 million).

Critical response

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for action sequences and performances but criticism for splitting the book into two separate adaptations. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 70%, based on 235 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "With the unflinchingly grim Mockingjay Part 2, The Hunger Games comes to an exciting, poignant, and overall satisfying conclusion." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.

Manohla Dargis from New York Times praised Lawrence's character saying, "Katniss is the right heroine for these neo-feminist times." Stephen Whitty from New York Daily News said, "'Remember that line from the first 'Hunger Games' film: "May the odds be ever in your favor"? Yeah, well, that luck has run out'." Lawrence, Hutcherson, and Sutherland received praise for their performances. The supporting cast's performances, particularly Harrelson and Malone's, were also highly praised, but critics felt their appearances were too brief. Several critics also commented on the film's dark tone, even by comparison to its predecessors.

Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly remarked, "With its political power struggles and prodigious body count, all rendered in a thousand shades of wintry greige, the movie feels less like teen entertainment than a sort of Hunger Games of Thrones." Robbie Collin awarded the film four out of five stars and called the film "scorchingly tense". In his review for The Telegraph, he praised the film for "being intense" and lauded the performances of Lawrence and Hoffman."

Benjamin Lee, writing for The Guardian, felt that "the decision to split the final chapter of the dystopian saga into two chapters looms large over a frustratingly-paced mixture of thrilling action and surprisingly dark drama." He praised Jennifer Lawrence's acting and Francis Lawrence's direction and commented, "The decision to turn a 390-page book into over four hours worth of screen time (and a bonus payday) has resulted in a patchy end to a franchise that started so promisingly." Tom Huddleston of Time Out gave the film four out of five stars. He praised the ending of the film as "genuinely powerful", and commented that "this might be the most downbeat blockbuster in memory, a film that starts out pitiless and goes downhill from there, save for a fleeting glimmer of hope in the final moments. It’s a bold statement about the unforgiving nature of war, unashamedly political in its motives and quietly devastating in its emotional effect."

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References

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Wikipedia


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