If you’ve ever wanted to wander The Hunger Games’ District 12 without worry about the reaping, the odds are ever in your favor. Not only has Lionsgate been exploring options for licensing The Hunger Games and its other film properties to theme parks around the globe, the entertainment company has found takers.
Although the studio originally faced doubt as to whether The Hunger Games was well suited for amusement parks, Tim Palen, Lionsgate’s chief brand officer, told The New York Times they were confident in the idea: “The more we thought about it, the more we realized there was a major opportunity — not just to create something smart and captivating that Hunger Games fans would love, but to bring all of our franchises alive in new ways.”
Among Hunger Games-inspired concepts announced so far are a roller coaster based on the train that Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) took from District 12 to the Capitol, as well as a hovercraft tour of Panem, the fictional country where the series takes place. However, the studio doesn’t plan to build its own theme park; instead, it is licensing its movie properties to amusement park developers, much like Warner Bros. has done.
Developers have definitely been interested. According to Palen, Lionsgate has licensed The Hunger Games, plus other properties, to multiple upcoming entertainment venues. In addition to Hunger Games attractions, there are also plans to involve the Twilight and Divergent franchises, plus Step Up, strangely enough. Motiongate, an theme park under construction in the United Arab Emirates, is currently the furthest along, set to debut in 2016. Once it opens, visitors will get to explore the park’s version of District 12 and even visit the bakery where Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) worked.
Also in the works is an “experience center” in China that is expected to open in late 2018. Stateside, Lionsgate is working with developers for Avatron Smart Park, a theme park still in the planning stages. Assuming financing comes through, Avatron Smart Park would open near Atlanta by 2019.
Much more immediately, we have the opening of Mockingjay — Part 2 to look forward to; the film hits theaters on Nov. 20, wrapping up the dystopian film saga based on the original three-book series by Suzanne Collins.