The Hunger Games film franchise brought in $2.97 billion worldwide across four movies, the last two equaling $1.4 billion of that total. Now, Hunger Games: Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence understands the mixed reactions to the final book being divided into two films as he readies for the release of the latest franchise entry, The Ballad of Snakes and Songbirds.
During an interview with People, the director admitted if given the chance to re-do the box office hit, he wouldn’t split Mockingjay into two separate parts this time around.
“I totally regret it. I totally do,” Lawrence said. “I’m not sure everybody does, but I definitely do.” Mockingjay was following the trend of the final parts of famous book series being adapted into two-parters. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Twilight: Breaking Dawn were both split into two movies for their last film, allowing more money to be made across a financial year.
Lawrence also mentioned that the team agreed at the time that the two halves of Mockingjay, which were released in theaters a year apart, “had their own separate dramatic questions”, which made for being able to tell complete arcs.
On the flipside, the director added that it was nice being able to adapt more from the books by breaking it up into two parts, giving a more accurate adaptation.
“In truth, we got more on the screen out of the book than we would’ve in any of the other movies because you’re getting close to four hours of screen time for the final book,” he explained.
As for the prequel film, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which arrives in theaters on November 17, Lawrence said he had always intended on making this one movie, even if it meant for a longer runtime.
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