According to the New York Times, the launch of “The Hunger Games” in movie format broke records this weekend. The box office take was a logged in at $155 million. Clearly this is something that will be good for the book business in all of its formats.
If you follow my Twitter feed, you’ll know that I was at the premiere at midnight last Thursday with my faithful sci-fi/fantasy sidekick, “Younger Daughter.” We actually came across the series based on a recommendation from Stephen King in his Entertainment Weekly column. This inspired us to take the audio version of the first book with us on a road trip. From there, it was off to the bookstore for the first of the series and from then on, a waiting game while we traded the subsequent novels back and forth.
So what does the success of “The Hunger Games” mean for the magazine business? We have a long history of companion movie magazines and over the weekend I came across three while browsing a rack in a specialty supermarket near my home:
I found it interesting that the on-offs from the smaller publishers focused on the image of Katniss in her hunting garb and armed with her bow.
Of course, Us Magazine decided to play up the romance angle, just a little bit.
On the plus side, Us Magazine left Gale off of the cover. And while the book notes that after getting stung by a “tracker jacker” Katniss thinks that Peeta looks sparkly, no one in the movie glittered.
Will “The Hunger Games” specials add to the newsstands bottom line this year and help build sales? Good question. As always, it will depend on the quality of the magazines that are out there and what sort of distribution they get. I found these titles in one supermarket and a quick check of a nearby drugstore revealed a few more.
On the other hand, none were to be found at a local Barnes and Noble. Sell out? Or missed distribution opportunity? A good question. For the publishers sake (as well as the B&N newsstand department) let’s hope the former and that a reorder is on the way.